When I received my undergraduate degree from UW Madison I was immediately sent my draft notice. I decided to join the US Army reserves which was an option at that time. I remember expecting to be sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for training and being pleasantly surprised at being sent instead to Fort Ord, California in January for basic training. It sure beat a Wisconsin winter even if it was basic training. I remember being at the reception station when we heard the news on the radio that the draft had ended…a somewhat bittersweet moment.
I met some of the finest men I have ever known in the US Army. Though I would have never thought of joining the military, I look back on my experience as one of the high points of my life. I was offered a commission as a 1st Lt. in the USAR and re-enlisted for another 2 years. One of the things that I am most proud of is having been a US Army officer.
I remember being in Madison just after the Sterling Hall bombing when the radicals realized that blowing up things and killing people to protest blowing up things and killing people finally made no sense.