I was in Atlanta, healing from a car accident when the lottery was done. Once back in college, I learned that there were many resources there to help fail the physical, and many people willing to help. My resolve to flunk the physical was fueled by my roommate who said anyone who wanted to fail could. But what I most remember is when I went to Jacksonville’s NAS for the pre-induction physical.
I remember a line to the bathroom in the bus as we neared Jacksonville. It wasn’t because we had to go, but we needed to "get ready" to face the examiners. I remember the Gainesville bus (full of college students) arriving at the base at the same time as a bus from Lake City (not college students). When the marine asked who may have reason to not serve, pretty much the whole Gainesville bus responded. No one from the Lake City bus did.
I remember following the yellow line.
I remember another student telling me that he had eaten nothing but Ex-Lax for the last 4 days. I remember another student watch me put albumen from a vial I had hidden in my shorts into my urine sample, and take my folder hoping he would get a 4-F.
I remember the audiologist not believing I was deaf. Because of this, I was kept overnight in Jacksonville. I was put up in the Heart of Jacksonville Motel. There was a wing used by the military. They housed people like me who were trying to get out of the army, and others who were about to be inducted into the army. My roomate was from Tallahassee, and was trying to get out on psychological grounds. Those about to be inducted were whooping and hollering and celebrating. We were not. On the other side of the motel was the travelling cast from the play "Hair". It was a very strange experience.
I remember failing the hearing exam. (My hearing was fine.)
My story has a happy ending. I eventually got out because of tachycardia. I don’t know how it is spelled, but it means that my heartbeat was over 100 per minute. I am forever thankful to my chemistry student friends that helped me with this condition. I have no guilt or shame over what I did.