That December 1969 night when the first lottery numbers were drawn was a pivotal moment in my life and that of everyone in my class. Before that the draft was a common enemy, but afterwards everyone’s attitude depended on his lottery number.
Knowing I would graduate in spring of 1970 with a low draft number, I had to make a choice. I had been against the War for several years, but my father was very gung-ho about it. Since I was good at languages, he encouraged me to apply for the Navy officer corps as a linguist. I was denied, but since I had already applied for service, I could not claim conscientious objector status. I decided to join the Navy Reserve, but signed up to be a hospital corpsman so that I would not have to actively participate in killing "enemy" Vietnamese. I knew this was dangerous, but preferred to be killed rather than to kill against my conscience.
As it happened, by the time I started active duty one year later, corpsmen were no longer being sent to Vietnam and I had become involved in a relationship with a woman to whom I have now been married for 39 years. My experience as a corpsman also led to my decision to become a physician, which has been a very satisfying career.