I graduated from high school in 1966 and took a job as a janitor for a public school in Michigan. The school
arranged for me, and several others, to receive a job deferment. The purpose of the deferment was to
benefit the school by retaining employees at a minimum wage. I was afraid that the draft would last
indefinitely. The lottery and my high number allowed me to quit the janitorial job in August, 1970.
My objection to the draft was partly personal. I have poor athletic ability and was afraid of the physical demands
of the military. I feared basic training as much as going to Vietnam.
I came to believe that the United States should not have been in South Vietnam. But I also believed that North
Vietnam should not have been in South Vietnam either. The antiwar movement was wrong not to equally
condemn both sides in the conflict.
During the war, I assumed that most of the young men in my high school class would serve in the military.This
made me feel guilty for receiving a questionable deferment. But after attending several class reunions, I concluded
that half of the men at the reunions also never served.