FEDERAL JURY IN TEXAS FINDS LT COLONEL
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Close - but no cigar.
Raymond Valas had almost done enough time to qualify for an Army officer's retirement pension.
The 41 year-old light colonel and decorated Iraq War veteran graduated from ROTC in 1995 and served either on active duty, or in a full-time AGR position with the New Hampshire National Guard, during the past 19 years and six months.
Now, he not only will never see a retirement check, he's a convicted sex offender and could spend many years behind bars.
SEX PARTNER WAS UNDER-AGE GIRL
Married with two children, the handsome super-achiever lieutenant colonel seemed destined for bigger and better things. An Army War College Fellow studying at Syracuse University, he could have reasonably expected promotion to full colonel before completing his military career.
The way he's leaving it now, however, is the stuff of nightmares.
Prior to his horrendous lapse of judgment, Valas was on the proverbial "fast-track" to further success. He'd been an infantry officer in Iraq and commander of Joint Task Force Japur in a humanitarian mission in El Salvador. There, he led 1400 troops from Chile, Columbia, Canada, El Salvador and the United States.