was in the first class to be in the lottery but unlike the class to follow we
were still able to keep our student deferment if we stayed in college.
I was living in Ellsworth Hall at KU and all the guys were gathered
around the 7th floor lobby TV as it happened. My number was very high–in the
300’s. There were sighs of relief and groans as the numbers were selected.
young man on our wing had a high number (usually considered safe) but groaned
anyway. I asked why the groan since his number was so high. He said he was from
Newton, Kansas. I said, "What does that matter?". He explained that the area had
a very high number of Mennonites who were considered legitimate conscientious
objectors and so his draft broad would pretty likely select him anyway. So, I
learned, not all lottery numbers were considered equal.
stayed and graduated from KU but several of my friends dropped out over the next
couple of years, ended up in Vietnam, and were never seen again. Most of us did
not want to go but would go if selected, seeing it as our duty even though many
of saw the war as a mistake and did not understand its