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When inmates become US Army soldiers

Felony waivers in times of war: Is it justified?


By Sig Christenson
San Antonio Express-News

When Nasser Hempel walked into an Army recruiting office in October 2006, he wasn't the typical applicant - a kid out of high school looking to serve his country and earn some college money.

At 33, he was four years removed from having spent 11 years in Texas maximum-security prisons for a 1991 robbery. In his first month in a prison dubbed "Little Vietnam," he said he was involved in two riots and 12 fistfights.

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