I didn’t know it at the time, but having a low lottery number would enable me to meet and marry the most wonderful woman ever.
I was a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in electrical engineering when my number of 39 was drawn. I thought, oh xxxx! I went on to graduate in June 1970. During my senior year, much to my chagrin, most employment deferments were eliminated. That meant that I either needed to join a service or be drafted.
I opted to join the Naval Reserve while accepting employment with Humble Oil & Refining Co (Exxon’s former name) in Los Angeles. After a short time, I concluded that 6 years of weekly drills in the Reserves wasn’t for me. I then applied to Officer Candidate School. The application and waiting process took a long time, but I eventually entered OCS in Newport, RI in August 1971.
After graduation and further training with the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, I was stationed in San Diego. Life was good. While in San Diego I met some great friends, worked in an office environment and, best of all, met my future wife. Though I seriously thought about a career in the Navy, I left the service in November 1974 and married Debbie in December. We’ve been married 40 years now. We’ve had a wonderful life together, have two children, three grandchildren and more grandchildren are on the way.
I feel truly blessed and remain thankful for that number 39.