Memory and fact do not necessarily match. I could swear I was in Lawrence, Kansas at the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity common room watching the draft lottery on TV when my number was drawn. However, that cannot be true, because I graduated in June 1969 and was in medical school at Kansas University Medical School in Kansas City on the date of the drawing. Therefore, anything else I might say about this event is suspect.
I was quite convinced while in high school that the Vietnam War would be over before I graduated. As the war continued after I entered college, I became less certain that the conflict would be over before graduation from college.
I knew I did not want to learn the art of war. Please understand that my hesitation about participating in combat was not out of fear of physical injury or death, but rather out of concern that I would become a very good soldier and do things that would change who I was.
I was seriously interested in a career in medicine, but was not sure I had the dedication for the additional years of study. The ever present Vietnam War and my draft number contributed to my application and acceptance to medical school. Whenever I weakened in my resolve, I watched the news, looked at my draft number, and renewed my enthusiasm for study.
Thus, my life through college and career were significantly influenced, for the better, I believe, by the draft lottery. I took care of people.