I was a junior at UGA in 1969. A group of students at my fraternity decided that it would be better for us to join the Army Reserves rather than take our chances in the lottery. We found vacancies at the Army reserve unit in Augusta and signed up for a six year obligation which consisted of monthly meetings and a summer camp in garden spots such as Hattiesburg Ms. and Fort Stewart Ga. We also were required to take basic training and advanced infantry training with what we considered to be the "real army".
I was lucky to be sent to Columbia South Carolina which was close to home. Others in my group were not so lucky– they took training in Fort Polk, La., Fort Dix, New Jersey and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
I left for Fort Jackson SC in October 1969. I will always remember that my good friend Jeff and I met with William Tate, Dean of Men at UGA prior to departure, and he asked about our service obligation and told us to keep our UGA ID cards. We were able to see a few UGA football games before we left. Dean Tate was one fine man and seemed honestly concerned about our situation.
The lottery came after my enlistment and I had a pretty high number. I could have avoided the military altogether if I had done nothing. As an adult I will say the military experience was totally different from anything else in my life. I met people totally foreign to my upbringing in Athens Georgia.