John, California, Pre-lottery: How I Beat the Draft

I tell anyone who asks where I was during the Vietnam war, that I wanted to beat the draft and I also didn’t want to sweat out being called up for years. I joined the Marine Corps at age 16 with my parents’ consent, arrived for boot camp on my 17th...

John, Ohio, 1972. Fours Weeks in Limbo

I was drafted in early winter of 1972 (lottery numbers came on tv right after the Mannix detective show). I was 18. I was ordered to go to the federal building in downtown Cleveland, Ohio the following Monday. This I did. Upon arrival I was given a physical, after...

Charlie, Missouri, 1971. No. 030: Gone for Sure

When the number was called, my mom freaked out. My older sister fell apart. Having just turned 18, I wasn’t sure what the fuss was all about. Then a friend told me. OMG I thought, I’m gone for sure. I got the letter telling me to report to St. Louis for a...

John, Illinois, 1971. No. 065: Guarding Nike Hercules

We had a small party on the day of the draft and I drew number 65. Out of the group of maybe 6 one other guy had a low number and he ended up going into the Army Reserves because he was married with a baby on the way. I talked to a recruiter with a couple of my...

Jan, Ohio, 1969. No. 211: Asking for I-A

Bearing in mind that as it’s been nearly 50 years, and as I kept no written record of the details of my experience with the draft, what I recount below is accurate to the best of my knowledge. When I registered for the draft in 1966, my draft board was located...

David, New York, 1969. No. 180: Some Crazy Reason

I got a two-year deferment for school then dropped out in 1969 when I was 21. Although I passed my draft physical when I turned 18, I had to take another one when I was facing the draft in the summer of 1969. For some crazy reason that I still don’t understand,...
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