I was attending the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 1970. My lottery draft number was 125; my draft board was in Lexington. It was my last year of college, as I was about to finish a 5-year professional program, and my wife was pregnant. The lottery was a definite blow to my career/family plans and it seemed likely that I would be drafted.
My options after graduation were to enlist for four years, or wait to be drafted, or join Reserves or National Guard. I passed the State Board of Pharmacy exam, became fully licensed and had a few months reprieve due to Occupational Deferment status. Then the loss of deferment forced my decision to postpone career opportunities and a normal family lifestyle. I enlisted in a local Army National Guard Armored Infantry Unit, completed tank training at Fort Knox, and did a seven year stint as a NG warrior. At least I could work as a pharmacist, support a newborn son, and complete military service obligations.
Our unit was never activated for Vietnam war service. I was extremely ambivalent in regard to our country’s participation in the Vietnam war. At least I had the option of military service, while retaining the ability to pursue a professional career. Many recent reservists have not been so lucky during the Gulf War & Afghanistan conflicts.