BROWSE STORIES

William, South Carolina, 1969. No. 040: Bad Way To Choose

I vividly remember the day of the lottery. All of my close college friends gathered in one room to watch. I was the first number drawn from our group at 040. The next highest number for those in the room was in the 90s. It was ironic that we were the only two with...

Robert, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 232: We Did Our Part

I didn't get to see my number till the Sunday morning following the lottery due to my being in about the sixth week of basic at Ft. Campbell, KY. Our BCT Company (B-10-2) was limited to Company area, but on those Sunday mornings, a couple sons of non-coms would peddle...

Ron, Arizona, 1969. No. 035: Salvation Lottery

35.  My birthday in 1948 was on May 7.  That's month 5, day 7.  5x7=35, my draft number.  It was all too neat.  I was a senior at Cornell sitting on the sofa next to my pregnant young wife in the library room of our tiny student apartment in Ithaca, New York that...

Doyle, Virginia, 1969. No. 363: Last Page of the Yearbook

My hometown is Lynchburg, VA; but, I was born in Athens, GA while my father was at the University of Georgia.  So, after high school, I returned to UGA and was graduated on June 7, 1969.  On that same day, I also was commissioned a 2LT in the Army Signal Corps.On the...

William, Georgia, 1969. I'll Take Care of This

I avoided the draft by keeping my student deferment until 1966, when I left college temporarily to raise the money to continue my education. Three weeks after I left, I was called up for a physical at Fort Jackson, SC. There I passed the AFQT with flying colors,...

Jimmie, Tennessee, 1972. No. 300+: Agitated and Uncertain

I remember the day of the lottery like it was yesterday. At the time, I was a senior at St. Paul's School, an all boys Catholic high school in Covington, Louisiana. We were in homeroom watching a black and white television. As the numbers were called, I could hear my...

Carl, Georgia, 1969. No. 257: Second Most Eligible

I graduated from the University of Georgia in June 1969 and began work immediately.  I was called for my draft physical in September 1969.  I talked with an Air Force recruiter and was told that they were only accepting Officer Candidate School candidates as pilots...

Jerry, Georgia, 1969. No. 003: Rolling the Dice

I was in the premed program at the University of Georgia at the time of the lottery. My roommate was a business major. The night the lottery was broadcast live on the radio, Dwight and I purchased a couple of six packs of beer and several snacks, settling in for the...

Bob, Illinois, 1970. No. 028: Guarding Site R

The 1970 lottery was in the summer after I finished high school.  With number 28 I was sure to be drafted even if the war ended, so I enlisted rather than go to college.  I didn't really have any future plans figured out and the reserves and national guard in Illinois...

James, Georgia, 1969. No. 071: Serving at Walter Reed

Prior to 1966 my draft board was constantly re-classifying me I-A even with good grades and school certifications of attendance.  So being from a military family anyway, I joined senior Army ROTC at the University of Georgia and thus eliminated the draft board's...

Thomas, South Carolina, 1969. No. 210: Major Dividing Line

A friend from my small home town had been killed in Nam in 1967. I was afraid of the draft and the coming lottery, so I kept a diligent eye on my grades. My roommates at the University of Georgia and I gathered in our Benton Apartment in front of a small TV and...

Al, Georgia, 1969. Silence Stalked the Porch

I wasn’t subject to the draft because I had already served three years in the Marines before I started at UGA in 1966. But I was very aware of the draft because quite a few of my classmates were in law school simply to obtain a deferral, which I thought was not a...

Jimmy, Georgia, 1969. No. 211: Nothing Fair About It

Yes, remember those days very vividly! I graduated from UGA in 1969 and started working at Macon Jr. College as an Instructor. My draft board in Cairo, Ga. (my hometown) said I had to go serve. I moved my draft status to Macon, Ga. where I was living and appealed the...

Johnny, Georgia, 1969. No. 220: Three Friends And A Corvair

I was living in a small trailer with two roommates who were also my classmates in the School of Pharmacy. The evening of the lottery my roommate Fred S. (from Dublin, now in Albany) had the only car - an early and very shabby Corvair. My other roommate was Donnie H.,...

Ronnie, Georgia, 1969. No. 353: Sleeping Through The Numbers

I was a student at the University of Georgia and I remember watching the show with my roommate Larry. Larry pulled a low number and the next day signed up for the Marines reserves. I remember the long list of numbers being called and finally I drifted off and was...

Mike, Georgia, 1969. No. 007: Knew What To Do

I remember this as if it was yesterday. I went to my favorite watering hole in Athens, GA to watch the first ever lottery while enjoying $.25 pitchers. The only problem was, I did not get there until they were already on number 11. As I watched the numbers go by and...

Wayne, New Jersey, 1969. No. 302: Remembering Major Herbert

I graduated high school in 1966 and I entered UGA in the fall of '66, met my wife-to-be Patricia and enrolled in the UGA Army ROTC program. I had intended to make a career in the Army as a pharmacist in the Medical Service Corps after I graduated from the UGA School...

Garnett, Georgia, 1969. No. 265: Safe Again

By 1969 I was not too concerned about the draft. I had been called up in 1966, prior to the huge build-up in 'Nam, and reported for my physical in Ft. Jackson, SC. We had gone through all the physicals except for vision when the Sgt in charge told everyone who wore...

Jeff, Texas, 1969. No. 001: One Chilling Moment

I did not watch the lottery, but a friend called me up later and asked if my birthday wasn't Sept 14 (1950). I said yes, and he gave me the good news! I of course thought it was a joke and tried to ignore it. As I was still in high school at 19-I started school a year...

James, Oklahoma, 1969. No. 365: War Babies

On the day of the lottery, I was in Biochemistry laboratory at university.  When I finished my lab I ran back to the dorm to watch the lottery with all my buddies.  We were all freaked out.  During the three years since I graduated from high school in 1966, I had gone...

Charles, Georgia, 1969: Rather Than Take A Chance

I was a junior at UGA in 1969. A group of students at my fraternity decided that it would be better for us to join the Army Reserves rather than take our chances in the lottery. We found vacancies at the Army reserve unit in Augusta and signed up for a six year...

Al, Georgia, 1969. No. 023: Pulling All-Nighters

My future wife and I attended a UGA basketball game on the evening of the 1969 draft lottery. We were listening to post-game comments on the radio, as we were driving back to my fraternity house, when the broadcast was interrupted for the live simulcast of the...

Randall, Georgia, 1971. No. 300: As Fate Would Have It

I had graduated high school in 1970, was in community college.   I was always raised to believe that you owed your country service. My brother was about to be drafted. I never really worried about VietNam. I enlisted with my brother under the Buddy System, in March...

Lynn, Virginia, 1969. No. 321: Under Contract

I was a Junior at UGA and had recently completed ROTC Summer Camp at Fort Bragg, NC when the first lottery was held.  I met my future/current wife (of 42+ years) at UGA about the time of the draft, but it had no impact on me since I had already signed my contract with...

Tony, Georgia, 1969. No. 049: One Night In 1969

Sitting in my fraternity den, watching TV as a college sophomore, I had no clue about the future impact of that evening in 1969.  I had enrolled in Army ROTC as a freshman (it must have been mandatory then) in 1967.  I realized quickly that with my number I needed to...

Robert, Georgia, 1969. No. 100: 90 Days Active

In my second year of Army ROTC, a cousin's brother-in-law was killed in Vietnam. He had been commissioned into the Army at UGA and went into artillery. I married that summer and thought I had rather go to Vietnam as a private, if called. When my number came up at 100...

Victor, Georgia, 1969. No. 279: Drinking For Two Days

My roommate and I got to the TEP fraternity house on the night of the lottery, about 10 minutes after the start. We stayed and drank with fraternity brothers until the lottery was over. After my number was called late I drank more while waiting on my roommate's number...

Billy, Georgia, 1969. No. 301: Rather Intimidating

My physical was the next week after the lottery, in Atlanta by bus from Athens. Even with a high number, I was scared to death at the physical. As you all remember, it was rather intimidating! I just knew I was gonna mess in my pants before I got there. It was an old...

Gene, Georgia, 1969. No. 366: Flight Plan Canceled

Yes I remember the draft lottery day. Just a few weeks before the lottery I had met with a Navy Recruiter. I took a small test and he said I did well. I agreed to return in a few weeks for a ride in a jet to be scheduled at an Air Force base here in Georgia. Before I...

Jack, Georgia, 1969. No. 141: Flat-footed

I remember that day very well. I was living at Callaway Garden Apartments on the Atlanta highway. Myself and about 10 or 15 friends gathered at an apartment to wait for the lottery. Needless to say we had lots of beer and snacks and by the time the drawing was to...

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 023: The Worst And The Best

The Phi Deltas had a pool for the draft lottery. Number 5 won, I came in second. Number 5 was exempt, I was not. I graduated in August of 1971, and was drafted in December 1971. I served two years, in the medical corps. I liked the medical field and went back to...

Bill, Georgia, 1969. No. 065: First In The Party

I remember the lottery night well. I was in Waycross, Georgia on a University of Georgia Forestry School field trip.  It was supposed to be a fun lottery party, watching the show with our group of mostly seniors. I was nominated with a friend to pick up the supper and...

John, Mississippi, 1969: No. 047: A Master's In Basic Training

Throughout all four years of my baccalaureate education from 1965 to 1969 my male classmates who were not able to keep their grades up were being drafted out of school.  Some of them tried to get the girl students to get lower grades so that their grades would look...

Tommy, Georgia, 1969. No. 119: A Different Draft

I remember vividly having a relatively low lottery number (119) and being called for a physical. At the time I was classified II-S but I was about to enter grad school and lose the II-S status. The physical was interesting to say the least and fortunately I was...

Robert, Georgia, 1969. No. 310: A Lot To Be Desired

I was an advanced Army ROTC cadet at the University of Georgia majoring in Pharmacy which was a 5 or 6 year program (1965-1971). Having finished my ROTC course work in 1969, I did not attend any ROTC classes my last 2 years at Georgia, so I never went to the ROTC...

Jimmy, Georgia, 1969. No. 125: Part of a Larger Organization

I remember the lottery selection well. I was in the parking lot of the Coliseum at UGA drinking beer, believing I would be in the 300's and safe from the draft. But after drawing No. 125, my draft board was kind enought to let me know I was going to become part of a...

Bob, Georgia, 1969. No. 056: Chairman of the Board

I remember the lottery well. My number was 56. That was a guarantee to be drafted, but it did not matter to me as I had signed a ROTC contract in September of '69 and was effectively already a private in the US Army Reserve. I served on active duty in Asia for two...

Glenn, Kentucky, 1969. No. 244: Where Fates Were Decided

I had no fear or worries on the night of the lottery.  Not because of the high number my birthday drew, but because I was already in Vietnam, assigned to an artillery battery on a small hill in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam.  For us there, across the...

Charles, Georgia, 1969. No. 304: Enough For Both Of Us

On the night of the drawing, I was at the architecture building working on a design for my presentation at 8 am the following morning. A freshman shouted, anyone named Charles on this floor. I answered YES, and he said you have a call on the payphone in the hall. I...

David, Georgia, 1969. No. 011: Saved By Typing

I was at the University of Pennsylvania in my final year when the lottery occurred. I remember I was No. 11. I applied to Naval OCS. (Actually I accidentally got in line for the aviation program--the line was much shorter). I also sought out a slot in the Army Reserve...

Paul, Georgia, 1969. No. 083: Creative Ways To Get Out

Being No. 83, I was as good as gone but just as determined not to go. By then the usual medical tricks were not working. I did not know what I was going to do, but then read a book called 4-F, which explained the process and creative ways people were using to get out...

Kent, Georgia, 1969. No. 126: Assignment Germany

I reported to Ponce De Leon on May 27 and had to return on the 28th for a medical consultation. I was inducted on June 1, 1970  at 4:10 and arrived at Ft. Jackson around 10 that night by bus. Ended up being a Tracked Vehicle Mechanic assigned to Illesheim, Germany....

Stephen, Georgia, 1969. No. 294: Invincible And Immortal

We were I-S (student deferment), about to turn magically into I-A (fit for military service).  It was December 1.  All the TV rooms of Russell Hall were packed.  I was a 19 year old junior in the chemistry department.  I roomed on the 9th floor, and I think the 8th...

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 300: Cheers And Groans Down The Hall

I was taking a business law test on the night of the drawing, and we were all distracted and wanting wanting to finish and go to a T.V. where the lottery was playing. We could actually hear cheers and groans from a group watching from down the hall. For many of...

Mike, Georgia, 1969. No. 019: Who Fought And Who Was Excused

 I had a very low lottery numer, but my draft status was decided before the drawing.  While a student in 1969, I neglected to fill out the forms that showed I was in good standing with UGa. One day a draft notice came to me by mail. I was dumbstruck, but reported for...

Gerald, Georgia, 1969. Hung Over In The Pool

I was at UGA during the draft lottery working on my doctorate which I received in 1971. The day after the lottery, while I was teaching a swimming class in the old UGA pool, all of my students were talking about where they stood. Two students were all "hung over" from...

Stu, Georgia, 1969. No. 305: Germany Instead

Like all male students at a Land Grant college, I had to take the first two years of Basic ROTC courses.  One fateful day, I got a letter from my "friends" at the Draft Board informing me that, since I was 1 credit shy of where I should have been in my academic...

Steve, California, 1969. No. 046: Trails of Destiny

Life is about choices.  Timing of those choices creates one’s personal destiny. I believe the 1969 draft lottery led to certain personal choices that greatly affected the destiny of who, what and where I am today, in 2013.I had been assigned a II-S educational...

Mike, California, 1969. No. 239: The Meaning Of A Number

239 was the number that saved my life. That "luck of the draw" kept me from going over to Vietnam to fight in some useless war based on the lie known as the "domino theory".The "Domino Theory" was to Vietnam as "WMD" was to the Iraq war. It was a lie generated by the...

Waymon, Georgia, 1969. No. 118: Pay My Way Through

Like most all other freshmen & sophmores at UGA, I was required to take those two years of ROTC. Most were Army, some of the others chose Air Force. My two years ended in the fall of 1968. I then had to sign on the dotted line to take advanced ROTC, which meant an...