We had student deferments for 4 years of college, but in my last year of college, the war was still going strong. I wasn’t real motivated, was kind of drifting, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
I tried draft counseling with the professional draft dodgers, but the only viable options were to leave the country, get drafted, or join up. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I decided to explore law school. That turned out great, but there was no deferment for graduate school. The military had just started a 2 year ROTC program, so I joined that to put off the military until after law school.
They swore us in in the spring of 1971 and we went off to a modified basic training. That summer, or maybe it was 1972, they started pulling troops out (RIFing) and I did everything I could to get out of ROTC; they wouldn’t let me go. I ended up graduating from law school close to the top of my class, but graduated from a ROTC camp 61 out of 63; go figure!
To make a long story short, I was commissioned as a 2d Lt., but never served except in the inactive reserve. The Army training I received, and the experience of 2 summer camps and then officer training at Ft. Sill was invaluable.
The draft changed my life. If my lottery number had been higher, I probably would never have been a lawyer, would probably never have had the opportunities I’ve had, and would never have met my wife and had the wonderful children I’ve had. A low number turned my life around for the good.