The only good thing for me regarding the 1969 draft lottery was it forced me to graduate in four years. In order to keep our II-S deferment we were required to make satisfactory progress to complete a degree, i.e. 25%, 50%, 75%, and completion. It required that I take a heavy course burden which affected my GPA but it kept me out of the draft until my graduation date in 1972.
By then the draft was coming to a close but the estimated lottery numbers to be called were up to 120 in ’72. I really wanted to try to enter law school after graduation but figured my new I-A draft status would affect my admission. Therefore I joined the Army in August 1972. Then the draft stopped in October of that year. All of my running around friends had high draft numbers and I was the only one who got the short end of the stick.
I spent three years in the Army which was probably a good thing because I didn’t have a clue of what to do with the rest of my life. Within a year of my discharge I was accepted for a federal job and retired in 2004 after 31 years of USG service, most of it spent overseas.
I still remember that night watching the lottery in 1969 and the tears and fear I felt. I have never since then felt such a lonely feeling. My last day as a civilian I had my father take me to a movie theater and, by myself, watched the Godfather. To this day I feel that if there was a draft today our wars would be finished much earlier.