I graduated in May 1969 with a B.S. in chemistry and was immediately re-classified as I-A. The September day that I moved my clothes into my room at Mizzou for graduate school, I received my induction notice. I was inducted in early October before the lottery in December when my number turned out to be 328.
I made it through basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood and was assigned to Military Police school at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. This was even though there were opportunities for the Army to assign me to Chemical Corps training. After completing Military Police School, I was given the choice of being assigned to regular MP duty, Dog Handler training or Correctional Specialist duty (stockade guard duty). I chose the latter and it turned out to be an incredibly fortunate decision. I spent the remainder of my time in Ft. Meade, Maryland while most other MPs were being sent to Vietnam.
I found my time in the Army to be extremely difficult, but nowhere close to as difficult and life-changing as it would have been in Vietnam. I matured significantly and returned to Mizzou for graduate school in 1971. The GI bill helped pay for this phase of my education and I received my Ph. D. in Chemistry in 1975.
I was “OK” with the war, but I certainly was terrified about having to go to the war. I tried to join the Army Reserves before I was drafted, but was too late. When I was drafted I didn’t want to go, but I served and am glad I did. I recognize that I am a very, very lucky one. So many others gave much more and had there lives affected more than I. My heartfelt gratitude and respect goes to them.