I knew the moment I found out my number, even though it was very low, that I would not have to serve in Vietnam. 13 has always been my lucky number as it is my birth date. Indeed, I graduated from the University of Kansas at mid-year and knew no school district would hire me then with that number. So I got an assistantship at SUNY Buffalo and went east.
There I was called for a physical. I had heard that one way to flunk the test was to have high blood pressure. I was told that eating large amounts of licorice would ensure very high blood pressure. So I began consuming mass quantities. I have never touched licorice since!
The day of the physical came and my blood pressure was dead normal. Instead, they detected a heart murmur, which caused me to be immediately rejected from service. 30 years later I would have my aortic valve replaced. But I always knew, for whatever reason, I would not have to serve in Vietnam.