I was at Sterling College when the first lottery was drawn that affected me. I remember that we were all in the basement TV room. As the early dates were drawn, if it was a birthdate of one of guys in the room they just got up went to their rooms and packed up and left school. As we got deeper into the numbers, fewer were leaving as they thought they might not get drafted. We all felt really sad for these early draws as their lives would be changed forever. I think my number was in the 250’s so I figured I would not be called.
Later as the war went on and some came home we asked them if we should go. They said that we should only go if called. Years later during the Gulf War some us who did not serve before felt somewhat cheated for not serving our country. We were all too old by that time. I am now as a volunteer in charge of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Friday night is our Military Appreciation Night and I make sure that we have an opening that makes those attending realize the sacrifice of those who have served and their families. I want everyone in the stands to be thankful for all who have protected our freedom so we can sit and enjoy the rodeo. We must not forget that Freedom is not Free.