Tom, Minnesota, 1972. No. 62: End of the Draft

I can remember the dorm room #107 I was sitting in at Winona State College my Freshman year with 2 guys I went to high school with and my room mate from Wisconsin. We were all listening to the lottery numbers called for each of our birthdays. My high school friend had...

Tom, Iowa, 1971. No. 104: Oblivious

For years I thought my number was 246. I recently checked and it was actually 104. The highest number drawn that year was 95. I was my parents’ only child, about to be a college sophomore, and there was a sense the war might be coming to an end. Nonetheless, I...

Tim, California, 1969. No. 41: Shafts of Sunlight Through the Fog

In 1969, I totally opposed the Vietnam War but I was #41 in the draft lottery. I was at UCLA so I had a 2-S student deferment but once I graduated I would be reclassified 1-A and drafted. I went to free draft counseling at Papa Bach Bookstore (deep gratitude to the...

Cristofer, Colorado, 1969. No. 052: Alternative Service

I have no memory of the lottery drawing, but I guess I watched the event with my dorm mates. I was raised in a pacifist Protestant denomination and had no difficulty achieving conscientious objector (CO) status. COs with the I-O classification were required to perform...

Don, PA, 1969. No. 069: Not Like a John Wayne Movie

I’ll never forget that day, listening to the numbers being pulled that would determine my future. I was a senior at Penn State and a bunch of us were hovered over the radio holding our breath as each number was pulled. It seemed so surreal. After hearing my...
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