I was in my junior year at UW-Madison under a student deferment when the lottery was initiated and my birthday came up No. 59; so I knew that meant I would likely go to Viet Nam upon graduation in June 1971. I went to Milwaukee in the spring of 1971 for my physical and passed without difficulty earning a 1-A status. Knowing full well that there was no way I was going to kill anyone, I applied for Conscientious Objector status. In June 1971 after graduation, I met with my local draft board to discuss my Conscientious Objector application; it was perfunctorily denied. I embraced my right to appeal and did so in late July 1971, and proceeded to wait for my next meeting with the draft board.
Coincidentally, in the summer of 1971 the draft law expired and Congress failed to immediately extend it or reinstitute it. Simultaneously, Mel Laird, then Secy. of Defense, suspended the draft for the fourth quarter of 1971. If I was not drafted by March 31, 1972 then I immediately went to a 1-H status and would, for all intents and purposes, go to the end of the line. As it turned out, Laird continued his suspension of the draft into the first quarter of 1972 and on March 31, 1972 my eligibility changed to 1-H and I could breathe a sigh of relief.
Due to my 1-A status upon graduation from college, no one would offer me a decent job since it was clear I would likely be departing for Viet Nam shortly after hire. So for 9 months I pumped gas (29 cents a gallon I might add!). Two weeks after my 1-A status expired in spring 1972, I took a full-time position with Trans World Airlines and began a business career.