BROWSE STORIES

D. Web, California, 1971. No. 212: From Cook To Clergy

I recall that the lottery was held when I was a camp counselor between my freshman and sophomore years at Univ. of Calif. at Santa Barbara.  All the males on the camp staff had logged their birth dates with the camp administrative staff.  When anyone's birthday was...

Phil, California, 1969. No. 74: Weight Limit

When I finished my BA at UCLA in the winter quarter of 1970, my draft status was immediately changed to I-A.  With the low number in the lottery, I was not surprised to receive a notice to appear for a pre-induction evaluation at a federal building somewhere on...

George, Michigan, 1969. No. 345: 100 Navy Bases

The years 1968 and 1969 produced a great deal of anxiety for my wife and for me. During 1969 I passed my physical, was classified I-A and held a student deferment to complete my Master's degree in medical entomology.  I thought the war made no sense, but I was...

Jay, NC, 1969. No. 324: Tuskegee Nephew

My number was 324 but the lottery was a non-event for me.  I left home for NC State planning to enroll in ROTC and to become an officer in military aviation.  My uncle was a Tuskeegee Airman and this was my dream from early childhood.  I remember reading his flight...

George, Georgia, 1969. No. 345: No Troubles In The World

I recall the significance of that night.  I was watching in my fraternity house at North Carolina State.  There was a strange irony after the lottery was over that many of us were drinking beer, some because they were celebrating in relief and the others to drown...

Jay, Wisconsin, 1969. Doctor Draft

I was already in medical school at the time of the draft lottery, having entered in the fall of 1968. There was a special "Doctor Draft" that drafted all doctors after one year of internship into the military as General Medical Officers.  Introduction to war training...

Fraz, Michigan, 1969. No. 2: Platoon Medic In The Bush

I had applied for and was granted a classification 1-A-0 which was a concientious objector opposed to taking human life, but not opposed to a Nation's right to raise up an Army. Three funny things happened: the Marines wanted me, but they couldn't accept a 1-A-0; the...

Lanny, NC, 1969. No 1!: A Lionel Train Set and The Draft Lottery

I tell people that I've only won two things in my life: a Lionel train set during 7th grade and the 1969 draft lottery.  I was a senior at NC State on selection night in 1969, studying with the radio tuned into the lottery.  When September 14th, my birthday, was...

Rhodes, Florida, 1970. No. 42: Not Supposed To Happen

Although I had had some ROTC experience, I was not enamored with going to Viet Nam. OCS was closed when I graduated in June of 1970, so I enlisted, in an attempt to obtain an MOS that was non-combat related. I went into the Quartermaster Corps after completing basic...

Erm, Alabama, 1969. No. 68: Guaranteed To Be Picked

Scary times... My wife was 4 months pregnant (the exemption for children had recently been discontinued) and I had just drawn a guaranteed-to-get- picked number. I was to graduate in May of 1970. Before I finished up at NCSU I was called up for a physical in April....

Jerry, North Carolina, 1969. No. 241: A Brother's Sacrifice

My lottery number was low enough for me to get a letter from the Draft Board to report for a physical. I was a student at NC State, married with one child and one on the way.  I wasn't particulary fond of being drafted but I wasn't going to dodge my responsibility...

David, Nevada, 1969. No. 107: On The Button

I was a UCLA student during the first lottery in 1969.  When it occurred, my birthday came up 107 and I was I-A as student deferments had been dispensed with.  At that time, we heard the government was going to take all numbers up to 195 so I wasn't too thrilled.  I...

Dave, North Carolina, 1969. No. 326: The Morning After

I was attending NC State and living in an apartment with two roommates. One of my friends (Tim) from Campbell College showed up at the apartment and suggested we all go out partying as the lottery could change our lives forever. (We were all I-A). My two roomies...

Ray, New Jersey, 1969. No. 105: Stunned But Happy

I was a senior at North Carolina State University when the 1969 lottery was held, and when my number came up as 105, it seemed inevitable that I would be drafted. I decided, though, that I would live my life just as I had intended before the lottery, and let the chips...

David, Alabama, 1969. No. 110: Soldiers Of The Lottery

I was a senior at NC State and deeply (perhaps too deeply) involved in ROTC, when the draft took place.  Like most of my fellow students, the night of the lottery, I was in the TV room watching and when my number came up as 110, I was actually happy I was in ROTC and...

William, North Carolina, 1969. No. 158: Haven't Jumped Since

Student deferment -1966-1970Joined the Army October 1970Went to 5th Special Forces Group right after the 5th PCSed to Ft. Bragg, so no Viet Nam for meSeptember 1973 got out and went to Graduate SchoolNovember 1975 joined 19th Special Forces Group and left it August...

Jay, North Carolina, 1969. No. 48: Goodbye Grad School

My senior year at NC State University I earned a full scholarship to graduate school in Virginia when I drew 48 in the lottery.  I knew I was going into the service since my student exemption would not carry over.  I accepted a job with Eastman Chemical Company since...

Ivan, North Carolina, 1969. No. 358: A Great Night To Drink

Do I remember that night? Hell YEAH. 358!!I was on the Technician school newspaper staff and they had a teletype machine. They started the lottery on the radio but quit after ten numbers.  As I was driving over to the office I heard, blah blah 24. My birthday is June...

Donald, N.C., 1969. No. 249: A Fixed-Wing Slot For A Good 'Ol Boy

I was a junior in Aerospace Engineering and a Kappa Alpha at North Carolina State U. when the first lottery and lottery party was held. Frats never needed much of a reason to party but this one had a darker tone to it. I hit No. 249 and was considered very safe which...

Richard, California, 1970. No. 211: Ending Draft Exposure

The annual lottery drawing event was watched with anticipation by students as a sort of public event in the undergraduate Powell Library at UCLA (where I was a college junior).  Since my drawn birthdate number was a relatively high 211, and the prior year only called...

Jim, North Carolina, 1969. No. 307: A Father's Advice

I remember the tension leading up to the draft and the relief when I realized my number pretty much protected me from becoming eligible. I also remember one night in my dorm room where I struggled with my conscience about knowing guys who were drafted or soon to be,...

Duane, Texas, 1969. No. 1: Four Year Liquor Supply

In December of 1969, I had just started my first year in medical school in Chicago as I had left NCSU after three years. I sat around with my roommates and a bunch of guys from my class to watch the lottery on TV. We all put up a fifth of liquor, and whoever drew the...

Chet, North Carolina, 1969. No. 172: Guardian Angel

I was in the original lottery of 1969 as a Junior at NC State. Our fraternity had a big Lottery party and pool with low number getting 3/4 the pot and high number 1/4. As usual I was in the middle of the pack at 172.During the spring of my senior year, I had to take...

Don, New Jersey, 1969. No. 242: Hot Off The Teletype

The evening the first lottery was held, a large number of male students and their girlfriends waited for the results outside the the offfice of the school newspaper, the 'Technician', next to Syme Hall.  As the results came in over the Technician's Teletype (it was...

Larry, Florida, 1969. No. 19: Parris Island 1970

I studied Nuclear Engineering at NC State from 1966-1970. In February of 1969, my best friend from high school in Alabama was killed in Vietnam. I had tried to talk him out of dropping out of Auburn and joining the Army, but he was stubborn and did it anyway. I was...

Art, North Carolina, 1969. No. 354: Mixed Feelings All Around

I was finishing up my final semester at NCSU... had been in Air Force ROTC in anticipation of going into the service. The lottery changed everything at the time, and perhaps for my life. I had held campus interviews and was offered a position at RCA Computer Graphics...

Frederick, North Carolina, 1969. No. 9: The Polar Bear Command

This is the only lottery that I ever won, and probably the only one that I ever will.  I was a student in college & was reclassified because I stayed out of school for one semester and got married.  That made me eligible for the lottery.  Every time that I was...

Craig, North Carolina, 1969. No. 2: I'll Wait Til The Next War

I was an English Ed student when the lottery occurred...my birthdate, Nov. 22, was the SECOND ping pong ball to pop up...I remember thinking "Oh hell."I had a brother-in-law-to-be who was an English major at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory and he was one year older...

Jim, North Carolina, 1970. No. 195: Lessons Not Learned

I graduated from NC State University in 1970.  Some time during my undergraduate years (1966 - 1970) I had receieved my II-S classification which allowed me a student deferment.  Shortly after graduating in May of 1970 I received my I-A classification along with...

Wade, North Carolina, 1969. No. 314: 30 Years In The Classroom

I had about a year left in college before graduation when the lottery took place.  My degree was to be in secondary education and it was my hope that I would be teaching in a high school somewhere in NC.  I remember watching the lottery on television and when my...

Bob, Virginia, 1969. No. 355: Motorcycle Lottery

I was in the infamous 1969 lottery during my first senior year at NC State.  My birth month was January and I ended up with a very high lottery number. But in the spring of 1967 I had signed the Army ROTC contract, so my draft lottery number didn't matter. I graduated...

Will, North Carolina, 1969. No 47: The Best And Worst Of Times

I was a senior at NC State University and very ready to get out of there.  The Vietnam War made for very tense times and soldiers were getting killed.  Every night on the news there was film footage of battles and the number of dead for the day.  I had no use for the...

Sherman, Illinois, 1969. No. 215: Never Forget That Night

Will never forget that night. I was at a small college in Iowa. Everyone, at least the 19 year olds, had ears glued to the radio, eyes to the tv. After the drawing, after the cheers, after the smashed tvs and radios, the bars were full; either you were celebrating...

Michael, North Carolina, 1969. No. 161: Quite A Ride

How did the draft lottery affect the choices I made in my life? Wow!Well, rather than graduate in Nuclear Engineering as planned in May, 1970, get married on June 6 and move to Charleston, SC, to live, raise a family and work at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, I ...1. ...

Bobby, North Carolina, 1969: Pondering The Possibilities

The first lottery was held during my senior year in college.  My number was called in April, although I knew much earlier that it would be called before I graduated.  As with all seniors, I was in the process of interviewing for jobs.  The year before the lottery, my...

Glenn, California, 1969. No. 263: Pharmacy School

Basically, I was lucky not to be drafted during this time. If I had been born a day earlier (No. 184) or later (No. 71) I would have been drafted. Upon entering UCLA in 1967, I went to the Selective Service Board and received a student deferment. For the first two...

Stephen, California, 1969. No. 2: Headed For That War

At the time I was a student at Chico State University (in northern Calif). I guess I was fairly naive because I didn't pay much attention to the war & wasn't much concerned about the upcoming draft. Anyway, on the way to school the next day, I dropped by a...

Ike, Virginia, 1970. No. 207: Avoiding A Layoff

I was I-A in the draft.  I was born on Sept. 16th, so my number was 207.  In any case I reported to the draft board in Charlotte, went through the physical and passed with flying colors.  Because of my draft status, I could not get a job with a bank, even though my...

Richard, Washington, DC, 1969. No. 300+: Mixed Emotions

I always had mixed emotions about the war. I had been in ROTC at NC State but was yelled at because I bounced when I marched. I was asked to take a semester off by State because of my grades and was working construction when I got my draft number which was well over...

Dwayne, Illinois, 1969. No. 102: Presidential Deferment

Thinking back 40 years ago.  I was finishing a Nursing degree at the University of Wisconsin, anticipating getting married, and contemplating working full time with the Student Christian group that I had become involved with as a sophmore.  I really wasn't worried...

Robert, Illinois, 1969. No. 165: The Decemberists

I was in the first lottery.  I was lucky.  I recall clearly that day.  I was sitting in the cafeteria at my college dorm listening to the radio broadcast of the numbers being called out, one by one.  I have a December birthday.  I was struck by how many December...

Pete, Georgia. Football Yes, Army No

My encounter with the draft was before I was to go N.C. State on a football scholarship in 1965. I had knee surgery in 1964 by Dr. Jack Huston in Columbus, Ga. which resulted in a a staple being placed in my knee. I was called to Atlanta for the army physical exam and...

Robert, California, 1965. Another Kind of Lottery

There was no draft lottery in 1965 when I graduated from Cal.  I had a II-S student deferment for law school, and was slugging it out in my first year at UCLA School of Law.In October, 1965 my draft board reclassified me I-A and sent me a notice to take a...

Robert, Michigan, 1970. No. 45: Family Tradition of Service

I was eager to become part of the military.  My family dates back in the United States to prior 1800.  Every male of my family has been in the military and fought in every war and conflict since the War of 1812.  All four of my children including my daughter have been...

Tom, North Carolina, 1971. No. 36: Sibling Blame And The Gift Horse

At the end of my freshman year in college I lost my II-S deferment due to poor grades.  Never a hard working student, I was unprepared for the freedom of college life and lacked the self discipline to pursue education as a full time job.  My grades in the fall had...

Randy, California, 1969. No. 3: Clogging The Court

On that fateful December 1, 1969, I learned that my birthday was picked No. 3 but it didn’t occur to me to panic, because I was young and stupid and just couldn’t imagine being drafted.  I left UCLA in the fall of 1970 and went off to Stanford for graduate school and...

Thomas, California, 1969. No. 1: One Minute Too Soon

I was in the process of completing my Junior year at UCLA and was returning for dinner at my fraternity house from my part-time job while the lottery was in process.  When one of my fraternity brothers asked me when I was born (September 14th), he informed me that I...

Marc, Colorado, 1969. No. 152: Co-ed Tickle Fight

I graduated with a BA in theater arts from UCLA in March, 1970. My II-S student deferment was thus no longer valid and my lottery number was 152. Not long after I left school, the infamous "Greetings" letter arrived. Lucky for me, I was a lifelong asthmatic. No...

Gil, Montana, 1969. No. 285: Miracle Hernia

Had a II-S student deferment in college from 1964 to 1968, took army physical Sept 1968 and they found a hernia I didn't know I had, making me temporarily "unacceptable" (the army offered to repair my hernia--I declined).  Lived with my hernia, being careful, until I...

Walter, California, 1969. No. 254: All High, No Low

I was lucky.  I was in college with the usual deferment.  I got a "good" number.  So the draft did not affect me.  Oddly enough, almost all my close high school buddies and my four college roommates had high numbers.  In fact, I was the lowest of the high numbers. ...