Bill, Connecticut, 1969. No. 261: Never Fired a Gun

I remember  a number of us meeting with our girlfriends in their college student lounge to watch the results of the lottery.  At the time we weren’t aware how far into the numbers the following year’s draft would go.  My birthday was pulled out at the...

Robert, Michigan, 1969. No. 191:Not Sure Why I'm Alive

I was doing horrible in school, always getting in trouble with the law, hanging around with the bad crowd. I decided I had to change my life, or I knew I would end up in prison. My parents were also not happy with my situation, so they encouraged me to join the...

Glenn, New York, 1969. No. 222: Vietnam, Here We Go

I graduated from high school in Ellenburg Depot , NY, in 1969. I knew the draft lottery was happening soon and I might become elgible for possible infantry time in the Army. Military duty was not new to our family, as my uncles were serving at the time. Some had...

Thomas, Rhode Island, 1971. No. 003: Mother Knows Best

I just graduated high school  in June, 1971 and in August I watched my number come up on the TV screen. At first I didn’t know if # 3 was good or bad! It wasn’t long. Within a week I received my first notice in the mail. Then I knew it was for real. My...

John, Illinois, 1972. No. 003: What Might Have Been

I remember I was sitting at the kitchen table with my Mom listening to the numbers being called on the radio. I was in college at the time, but we did not have student deferments in that time period. I was the 12th of 13 children,  the youngest of 6 boys. My oldest...

Paul, Canal Zone, 1971. No. 248: More than I deserve

I went to college in the fall of 1970, and got a student deferment from the draft.  Stupidly, I dropped some courses, not realizing that at the end of the school year I wouldn’t have enough credits to sustain my deferment.  I was part of the lottery in the...