It had to be July or August of 1971. On number day, I was at work. My mother worked second shift at the same company and told me my number. She was none too happy. Since I was not too serious about school at the time, I decided to join the Navy. It has been a tradition in our family since the Great White Fleet in 1907. It was a good experience for a spoiled kid from the suburbs.
At the draft physical, I noticed that the Marine recruiter was hand picking guys for the Corps to draft. That was an eye opener. Some guys started crying! Being one of the lucky ones not needed that day, I headed home to wait.
I waited until I received a draft notice to get sworn in and got a delayed entry. Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in January can chill you to the bone! After technical school, I went to Southeast Asia for two years and got some growing-up education. Thanks to a Marine friend, I became a pretty good rifle shot. When I got home, I was grown up and went back to University and was a dean’s lister. Serving was a good thing.
Regarding coming home, we were welcome home, but not welcome. It is hard to explain. Carry on.