When I entered college in 1965 I knew that no war in our history had lasted over 5 years, and was convinced that Vietnam would not either. Surely I could nurse a II-S deferment for that long. I’d graduate and live happily ever after! Well, that part came true.
As college and the war went on it became more apparent that this war was going to last. I still remember sitting in my girl friend’s apartment along with two or three other couples watching the draft. I was hoping for a very high number, meaning I wouldn’t be drafted, or a very low number so I wouldn’t be on the bubble. I got my second wish. I was awarded number 71, which at that time meant you were going.
The next day I went down to the Air Force recruiter. A friend told me something that I’ll never forget. He said think of it this way. The Navy spends all its time at sea shipping men and materials. The Marine Corp establishes a beach head and does the heavy fighting. The Army comes in behind the Marines and build an air strip. The Air Force come in behind the Army and builds an Officer’s Club. I spent seven years in the Air Force. No regrets.