Steve, California, 1970. No. 085: Footloose and Lucky

After high school in 1969, I was footloose and lucky, not getting drafted. In 1970 I got serious, started college and got deferments. Then came the lottery, a lousy number, and the removal of the college deferment. I went for the physical, passing of course. It...

Dave, Illinois, 1970. No. 341: Big Toe Was Safe

My father served in the US Coast Guard during World War II. My grandfather was an Army soldier who was stationed in France during much of World War I. A few months before the first draft lottery, held midway through my senior year in college, Gramps told me, “I’d cut...

Gary, Illinois, 1969. No. 094: Teaching Deferment-Thanks, Mom

I had graduated college in May, 1969 and worked construction all summer in Chicago. I applied for both Navy and Air Force OCS to fly jets that summer, but did not get accepted. The local army recruiter said I could become a warrant officer flying choppers, but I knew...

Mark, Michigan, 1972. No. 014: End of the Draft

I received a pre-induction letter from the local SSS. It was 1973 and I was very aware about the casualties of the Vietnam war. I along with about 30 other 19-yr- old males had to gather at the armory in Kalamazoo, MI. We sat there waiting until 2 cars rolled up, and...

Brian, Illinois, 1969. No. 004: No Teacher Deferment

I was a senior at Southern Illinois University and was preparing to watch the lottery on TV that December night when a friend called and said ‘you’re number 4″. I was shocked because I did not see it on TV. I learned later that TV airing was delayed....

Antonio, Illinois, 1971. No. 028: Dropped Out and Enlisted

I graduated from high school in May, 71. I enrolled in junior college but soon dropped out and hung with gang members and friends in Chicago. Received draft notice late 1971. Enlisted USMC Feb. 1972. In late 1972 I was temporarily assigned to Bien Hoa, Vietnam, MAG...
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