I entered college at UK as a freshman in 1966. I was in the ROTC program, which meant I had a I-A draft classification–no student deferral. When the lottery drawing took place my number was 250. My draft board said they would probably not go over 115. As soon as the lottery happened, everyone I knew with a low number was trying to get into a reserve unit or the National Guard. I withdrew from ROTC after spring semester and took my name off the reserve list (mainly to open a space for someone else). I remained classified I-A until I was 24 years old but was never called because of my lottery number. Finally I was re-classified I-H (no longer available for processing).
The Kent State riots occurred in the spring of my senior year. Protestors burned the Air Force ROTC building on the UK campus. The Army reserve, National Guard and state police took over the campus and finals were cancelled. I remember the student phone book came out with a picture of a Guardsman dragging a hippie down the street, and the cannon in front of one of the administration buildings was turned around and a smoke bomb set off. Those were interesting years. I had friends who went to Woodstock and friends who died in Vietnam. I can remember marching around the campus with the airbourne rangers and having food thrown at us by hippies.
I graduated and went on to graduate school and got married in Lexington. My wife taught school at Tate’s Creek and I worked for the Dept. of Agriculture. We moved back to Ohio in 1973 and I started my own business.
I still know quite a few vets. Some are fine, others not so much. It was a shame the way that war went down and that so many young Americans were lost or damaged by it. Today’s wars are so much different but many of the results are still the same.