The next morning I was walking on campus and ran into a cousin of mine. She informed me that I had some rather low draft number, and my heart sank. The one saving grace was whether she really knew what my birthday was. I was hoping against hope that she was wrong. I finally read a newspaper which confirmed that she did not know my birthday after all. Instead of some 2 digit draft number, my birthday of July 27th was assigned draft number 289! That was quite a big relief for me, but I still couldn’t help but feel sorry for anyone who had a low number. Prior to the draft, I had mulled over a number of scenarios as an alternative to being drafted. I just wasn’t interested in being shipped off to Vietnam only to be returned in a body bag. I would have found an alternative to that fate, but I am not sure what it would have been. Thanks to the high number I received, I didn’t have to lose much more sleep about being drafted.
About a year later, I read a small article in the newspaper. The article said if you gave up your student deferment for even a day at the end of the year and then reinstated it again early the next year, it would count as being eligible for one year. In other words, you could add 366 to my 289 which meant I would never be drafted unless WW3 broke out. My roommate and I both surrendered our student deferments on Dec. 31, 1970 and had them reactivated again on January 1, 1971. That was one loophole I didn’t mind taking advantage of. Of course, by the time I graduated in May of 1972, Nixon was trying to wind down the war, so the possibility of needing a lot of draftees was nil. I thank my lucky stars fate shined on me the evening of December 1, 1969.