Sometime before the lottery I made a sarcastic comment that I would automatically draw No. 1 since my birhtday is July 4th. In fact, I only watched maybe the first 120 numbers being called, then I went to my room to study. One of my roommates got number 17. He was pretty calm about it. I eventually ended up with number 279. I felt happy about that.
Over the years since the lottery, especially during those years shortly after the Vietnam war ended, I’ve felt a lot of gratitude about never getting drafted, and sadness for the many friends I knew who did. Not that I minded the idea of eventually serving in the military so much, but I sure did not want to go to Vietnam. Really glad I missed that one.
Those years were hard. I had hoped it taught us a lesson about getting involved in another country’s internal unrest. Guess not.