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...

Lee, Missouri, 1969. No. 310: Another Life to Live

After seeing a couple of my friends go to Canada to avoid the draft and several others comb the country for open spots in any military reserve unit, I considered doing the same, but decided to take my chances. Although declared I-A and expecting to be drafted, I was...

Chris, Tennessee, 1969. No. 247: Joining the Guard

I remember watching the lottery in the rec room of my college along with many other guys. The mood was quiet and somber. The number of people grew smaller as the numbers were drawn. I stayed longer than most as my number was 247. This number meant that I probably...

Dennis, Missouri, 1969. No. 003: Auditioning for the Band

I finished high school in 1969 and immediately started college. That fall was the first draft lottery. I remember before finding out my number all of the activity on campus. Guys we’re hanging bannners out their dorm windows saying things like “Goodby...