I was at UCLA, on a Navy ROTC scholarship. Since I was already headed to the military, my lottery number held no significance to me. When it came up 50, I remember thinking, well, it’s a good thing I’ll get to go into the military on my terms and as an officer.
Funny thing is, I took five years to graduate (NROTC let me delay a year for athletics), then another whole year of schooling in the USMC and by the time I was finished, they had pulled the last Marines out of Vietnam four months earlier.
I did my four years, but stayed in the Reserves until early 1990. I resigned my commission just six months before the Gulf War started (I would have been sent immediately because of certain language skills I have).
Just months away from two different wars – I’m still amazed to this day at the timing.