Steven, Oklahoma, 1969. No. 274: Women and Children First

My friends and I met at the Heidelburg Tavern to watch the drawing on TV. I went to college because I was able to get a student deferment.  When they did away with that, it was the lottery that protected me.  My number that night was 274 and I was happy because it was...

Robert, Missouri, 1969. No. 013: Lucky Thirteen

The evening of the first lottery drawing, I was listening to the radio in my apartment while shaving and showering in preparation for a date with my wife-to-be, Carol.  I thought I’d heard my birth date announced very early, but I wasn’t sure.  They kept...

Ken, Missouri, 1969. No. 193: Negative Reinforcement

Vietnam conscription was my negative reinforcement to remain in college, not drop out in my sophomore year on account of indecision. When I graduated high school 1965 it was with honors and a full scholarship to VMI (VA Military Institute) if I wanted it. Because of...

David, Minnesota, 1969. No. 001: Fort Benning School for Boys

I enlisted in the US Army Reserve in 1968, being one of the thousands of graduate students whose deferments were cancelled by LBJ in the spring of 1968.  At that time, before the lottery, the draft was applied on the basis of oldest first.  All of us who had held...

Kent, Texas, 1969. No. 234: Never Heard From Again

In November of 1965 while attending Washburn University (as a junior) I was kicked out for violating their rules regarding the use of alcohol.  Within four days of that event I was notified by my local draft board in Wilson County, Kansas to report for a pre-induction...

David, Kansas, 1969. No. 163: Defense Work

I was caught up in it like everyone else at that time. The night they held the lottery, I was busy with other things, and did not know the results until the next day. When I saw that my number was 163, I knew it probably was not high enough to escape the call-up. I...