When I graduated from UCLA in June 1969, I knew I was likely to be drafted quickly by my draft board in Oregon City, OR. In advance of graduation, I had applied to various Reserve and National Guard units in the LA area. The day after graduation I was married and within days received my draft physical orders. Fortunately, I also heard from an Army Reserve psychological operations unit with an invitation to join — which I did immediately. It was based at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.
In November of 1969, I was called to Basic Training at Fort Lewis, WA. In the midst of the training, my wife mailed me a clipping from the LA Times listing the results of the initial draft lottery. Unlike most young men at the time, I was rooting for a low number since it wasn’t going to impact me one way or the other. My January 19th birthday earned me number 58, so I would have been certain draft bait.
I served out my six years of weekends and summer camps — and, thanks be to God, did not have to go off to fight a war I didn’t believe in.