NY Congressman Says Reinstate the Draft, Tennesseans Say Bad Idea

Knoxville (WVLT) - The call to reinstate the draft comes from New York Congressman Charles Rangel.

The Democrat is the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Here's what he had to say about the idea Sunday on Face the Nation.

"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," says US Rep. Charles Rangel, (D) New York.

Congressman Rangel says the Bush Administration would never have invaded Iraq if a Draft had been in place and politicians thought their own children might end up in combat.

Some Tennessee Congressmen, along with local military leaders, are speaking out against Congressman Rangle's position on the draft.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford spoke with some of them about the issue.

Many leaders are fired up about even the thought of a possible military draft.

They all say our troops are doing what they need to do right now and reinstating a draft would hurt the country tremendously.

"I believe everybody should serve their country, but I don't think we need a draft," Gunny Cramer is a retired marine who trains ROTC students at Bearden High School for the Army.

"It's an all-volunteer force. It's working. We're getting the best of the crop that comes out of the high schools now-a-days," Cramer says.

Cramer says we don't need to mess up our military with draftees right now.

"I think if you end up doing a draft, we're going to have the same problems we had during Vietnam. People that don't want to be there are not going to perform," Cramer says.

"I don't think a free country should have to force people to work for the government," Second District Congressman Jimmy Duncan says so many Americans serve our country outside of military service.

"Businessmen and nurses and teachers, garbage collectors and electricians. All kinds of people who work hard and honorable jobs," Congressman Duncan says.

"We have plenty of young men and women that want to volunteer. A volunteer army has worked very, very well," 4th District Congressman Lincoln Davis says Charlie Rangle's Draft proposal is a big mistake.

"I think it's a way for Democrats to politicize the board, play politics with our troops, and I think we have to take it very seriously," Congressman Davis says.

"I don't know a half dozen people out of 535 in congress that actually think we should have a mandatory service," Zach Wamp,3rd District Congressman, says there's very little support in congress for a military draft.

"Right now we're still meeting the goals for reinstatement and for retention," says Wamp.
"They're doing what they need to do. If we put more people there, more casualties," Cramer says.

Newly elected US Senator Bob Corker tells WVLT he believes our volunteer army has been a success and he does not support a draft at this time.

All four of East Tennessee's Congressmen, along with Senator Lamar Alexander tell us the chances of a draft reinstatement actually passing are very slim, but anything is possible.

Everyone we talk to about this agrees a military draft would dramatically change the lives of so many Americans.