The draft lottery was the only lottery I ever won, with a 95. As I was contemplating a career in federal law enforcement or intelligence following graduation from UCLA, I decided to enlist in the Army so I could choose a relevant career field that might provide applicable experience. After interviewing with an agent of Military Intelligence in Pasadena, a lengthy application and investigation process followed. Having passed the background check, which included agents interviewing friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc, I was accepted and completed the enlistment process, then basic training at Ft. Ord.
Basic was fairly unpleasant, but nothing like friends’ Marine Corp experience. After basic I completed MI Counterintelligence Agent school at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, then was surprised to be offered six months at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA…tough duty. Half my CI class got orders for ‘Nam or Thailand. Following honors graduation from DLI I was offered two choices: Tactical CI with an Airborne Division in Panama, or a field office assignment at Ft. Huachuca. I chose the latter, preferring an investigative job.
The Huachuca Field Office assignment turned out to be great, and I served there from 1973 through 1975, actually extending my tour 9 months, during which time I met my future wife, an MI Lieutenant. When I got out of the Army, she served a tour with MI in Germany, following which we were married, and have been together ever since, raising three beautiful daughters.
I’d never have joined the military had it not been for that low number, but for me it turned out to be a great experience that led to a successful marriage and career.