What was your number?
The purpose of this site is to collect and share the stories of American men who were subject to the Vietnam war draft lotteries in the years 1969 through 1972. During those years, the Selective Service used a lottery to determine the order in which draft age men would be called up for duty, usually in Vietnam. Many who received a low number were drafted or chose to enlist. Others went to any extreme to avoid being sent to fight in the unpopular war. Either way, choices prompted by the lottery often shaped the entire course of a young man’s life.
If you are one of the millions of men who were subject to the lotteries, we want to hear from you (SUBMIT STORY tab). Also, you are welcome to read the stories of others affected by the lotteries (BROWSE STORIES tab); or read a short history of the draft lotteries (LOTTERY FACTS tab); or follow links to other resources (LINKS tab); or read the list of top ten well-known draft avoiders (TOP TEN tab).
Now available: Random Destiny: How the Vietnam War Draft Lottery Shaped A Generation, by Wes Abney. This new book explains the rules of the draft and the lottery during the Vietnam years, and demonstrates how this process, during a highly unpopular war, steered major life choices of millions of young men. Some volunteered for the military to avoid the draft; some sought deferments based on education, occupation, family status or sexual orientation; some resisted the draft and faced criminal charges or fled the country. Putting a human face on these social trends, the book also includes 160 brief personal anecdotes collected on this website, from men in each category.
Available from Vernon Press (Use code WRFLPR12 for 12% discount): https://vernonpress.com/book/225
Also available from Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Random-Destiny-Vietnam-Lottery-Generation/dp/1622731964