I was not looking forward to military service during the Viet Nam war. In the fall of 1968 I applied for the USAF officer training school (OTS) and met all of their qualifications, but the USAF recruiting system lost all of my paperwork. I was offered the opportunity to enlist with a promise to pick me up for the OTS program in 18 months or so. It wasn’t in writing so I didn’t trust the system. I instead signed a contract to teach school at the high school from which I had graduated. This got me an additional deferment. I began teaching in August 1969, with a temporary certificate, after having graduated from Mizzou with BA in Art. In December 1969 the lottery was held. My friends and I listened to the numbers being called out over the radio or television, I forget which. My number was 57. The local draft board in Pettis County told me I would probable be called in April 1970. I was allowed to volunteer for the draft to delay entry until after school was out. I was sworn in on June 16, 1970. While attending advance training (Artillery Fire Direction Computer – MOS 13E) my first wife had a terrible car accident. I applied for, and was given what is termed a “Compassionate Reassignment” to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, where I had attended Basic Training. I reported to the transient personnel office and the JAG Sergeant Major, SGM Eiler, came down to get me and I was assigned as a claims specialist in the JAG office. They apparently had had a standing order with transient personnel to notify them of any college grads who could type. That would be me. I was received an “early out” active duty on Dec 21, 1971 on the condition I joined my home town Missouri Army National Guard unit. I served the next 10 years with the guard as an artilleryman. When I left the unit as the Fire Direction Chief I returned to active duty with the Guard in the recruiting and retention field. Over the next 22 years I served as a retention NCO, the marketing NCO, recruiter and recruiting supervisor. I retired in 2004 as the Recruiting Operations Sergeant Major with over 34 years of service, 26 of which were on active duty. For most of the next five years I served as a contractor for the Defense Department on the staff of a DOD agency – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, working with service members and employers on issues caused by their military service. I retired for good in 2009 after having served 39 years with the military and related agencies.