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,...

Steve, Oregon, 1972. No. 50: Get-Out-of-War-Card

My number came up in what became the final year of the draft lottery, although we didn’t know it at the time. A friend had been drafted in the previous year. His number was 38. Mine was 50, and it looked as if I’d have to go. They rounded up a bunch of us...

Jeff, Texas, 1969. No. 179: College Instead of War

I received a letter at my parents’ house. I had just traveled that summer to surf in southern California. I called home from a pay phone and my mom read the letter from USAF asking me to join. The letter explained that if I were to enroll in college and hold a...
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