I was draft-able, I-A I think they called it, for about a year before the lottery because my grade point was not that good. I had been in ROTC for about 2 years and thought that may have been why I was not in Viet Nam. Guys younger than I were being called up near where I was registered. I had had my draft physical and passed, which I was not supposed to as I cannot hear in one ear. I guess things like that matter very little when you need bodies to fight a war. I was married but they had taken that deferment away and my grade level was poor at the time so I was surprised I existed long enough to be in the lottery. I never agreed with the war but I was sure I was not going to Canada or any where else.
I had started ROTC mid-year and it was about the point where you were to sign up or quit. I remember asking if signing the papers to join would exempt me from the draft. I didn’t get an answer but I did get a spiel about signing up right away and avoiding the rush.
I had a fairly good job and was working the night of the lottery and could not listen as closely as I had wanted to. I kept listening to summaries and didn’t hear my birth date all night. I was sure I would be drafted and just wanted to know when. When I got home my wife was just getting home also and we listened to a summary one more time but didn’t hear my birth date announced. We both figured we had just missed it.
We didn’t own a television and even though I didn’t sleep well I resisted getting up and listening to the radio. It wasn’t until the next morning that I saw a paper and found out my number – 365 which I remembered as being the last number.
I turned in my ROTC uniform the next morning, I still have the shoes!