I was a student at NC State University and had a student deferment–II-S. My expectations at that time were to graduate in 1972 and be drafted. If drafted, I would have served my country without hesitation. But I really lucked out in the lottery, 361 out of a possible 365. I couldn’t believe it.
Well, I learned that if I became I-A, as I would be upon graduation, they would start at No. 1 and have to go to No. 361 to get me. If they did not get to 361 that year, then I would be the 361th pick after the next year’s lottery class. So, I decided to roll the dice and take a gamble. I dropped my II-S deferment while still an undergraduate and went I-A. My objective was to put a year or two between my lottery class and the current class when I graduated. I didn’t tell my parents what I had done. This was a risk that I probably need not have taken. But hey, hindsight is 20-20.
That high lottery pick could very well have saved my life. I had some frat brothers with low numbers and they were gone to Vietnam as soon as they graduated.