I started graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1968, with a I-A classification hanging over my head. I spent the year trying to obtain a teaching deferment for being a chemistry teaching assistant. In February of 1969 I had my draft board hearing just as the National Guard was called up to suppress the riots then going on at Madison. The chemistry building had armed uniformed National Guardsmen in the lobby and the smell of tear gas was everywhere. My draft board was not sympathetic. and I again became I-A. As did many, I waited my 30 days to appeal to the board, then to the state board, all without success. One year after becoming I-A, I was still I-A. I then faced the option of trying to be a conscientious objector or giving up. Not feeling that I had the credentials to substantiate a CO and with the lottery only a rumor, I decided I still had some integrity and decided to go in.
A month after my I-A notice, I received my "Greetings" letter. It gave me one month. I called the draft board and said that I was teaching summer school and they said I was out of luck. Two days later I called and said I was enrolled as a student. They said that was different and I could put off induction for another month. Go figure! The one down side was that September inductees had a 1 in 20 chance of becoming a Marine, whereas August call-ups would all be Army.
I was in the Army at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey when the first lottery was held. A bunch of us draftees were sitting in the barracks reading the numbers in the Sunday paper. I was the highest one of all of us at 357. One more round of stalling might have kept me out. Still, I cannot complain, I went in and ended up in Thailand, traveled to Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore on leave and had some experiences I never would have had otherwise. I returned to a much calmer Wisconsin and finished my degree.