Terry, Missouri, 1969. No. 272: Never Had to Find Out

“Greetings,” the letter began. I’d gotten it in the mail in September, 1969. I’d known it was coming, but that didn’t make it any less horrifying. It felt like an advanced notice of my upcoming death. I’d graduated with a B.A. In English Lit...

Roger, Illinois, pre-lottery. War Correspondent

I graduated the J School in 1969 and was drafted in September. By December I was in Advanced Infantry Training. So the lottery did me no good. But I had a patron and was bought out of the infantry and sent to Ft. Sheridan Chicago 5th Army HQ for my first duty...

Tim, Arizona, 1969. No. 198: A Yellow Beret in the South Pacific

When I was a junior at the University of Missouri School of Medicine (Class of ’69), I joined the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1968, a year before graduation. Serving in the USPHS is basically the same as serving in the Army, Navy or Air Force, except...

Lowell, Minnesota, 1969. No. 129: Quite A Night

December 1, 1969 — My 21st birthday, my first legal drink as a college senior, my future determined. It was quite a night at the 71 Club Bar in Turtle River, Minnesota, 10 miles north of Bemidji State College in Bemidji, Minnesota. The evening was progressing...

Tom, Missouri, 1969. No. 232: Enough Said

I graduated from Mizzou in August 1969, got my draft notice in September 1969 and was drafted on October 8,1969. The lottery came out when I was in Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood. I had a high number—but I’m a Vietnam Veteran—enough said.

William, Missouri. Pre-lottery: Writing on the Wall

I saw the “writing on the wall” early on as I began my college years at Mizzou. I thought it was going to be a certainty that I was called to serve, as my father was before me, so I decided to make my time in the service as good as possible. To me, that...
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