I truly enjoyed my experience in graduate school at UK. Great teachers, wonderful basketball games, and lots of research papers for this English major. Working part-time at Kennedy’s bookstore was a plus, financially and socially. It was about the only social life I had, except for walking to the coliseum to watch the ‘Cats play.
Then came the lottery and the panic of being called for a physical and the bus ride to Louisville for the examination. i was worried about being yanked out of grad school. At the same time, I knew that if I was called to go into the military, I would. My dad was a Marine in WWII, and I always looked up to him for his service.
The main thing I remember about the physical was going through a line answering questions. They asked me to look in a box and tell them what colors I saw. Because I am red/green color blind, I messed up on some colors, but when the interviewer said, "Hell, you did just fine," and sent me on, I figured I was on my way to Vietnam. Next stop was with another sergeant-type who asked more questions, including whether or not I had ever had asthma, and how bad was it. I did suffer badly from asthma and I had my inhaler with me, which I showed to him. Then he told me I was NOT going any further, and that I was not a candidate for any military excursion with my asthma.
And that was the end of my brief encounter with the military. Although I didn’t make it into the military, I hope I have served my state and country well. I finished my M.A. degree and then taught at Paducah Community College/West Kentucky Community-Technical College for 39 years and contributed–I hope–in a more positive way than I might have in the jungles of Vietnam.