Terrill, California, 1969. No. 001: Same Number, Different Paths

The lottery really didn’t affect me personally.  By the time the first number was being drawn, I had been in Vietnam for a little over 3 months.  I was with the 3rd Marines in I Corps, and had been running patrols and night ambushes all that time. Here’s...

Paul, Kansas, 1969. No. 167: No One Shot At Me

I found out my number from the TV in my dorm lobby. (McCollum Hall). My number might have been high enough to keep me out but my home county (Doniphan) had a small population. I enlisted in the Navy to avoid the Army and spent the next four years in California and...

John, Kansas, 1969. No. 082. Faced With Decisions

As I recall, KU had a home basketball game that night.  I and one of my roommates went to the game; the other stayed home to watch the drawing.  When we returned it was obvious the roommate who had stayed home had been drinking.  I said something to the effect that...

James, Texas, 1969. No. 011: The Gates of Leavenworth

     In December 1969 I was a married, fourth-year graduate student in chemistry at the University of Kansas when I drew No. 11 in the draft lottery. I had successfully completed the requirements for a Ph.D. and was in the process of publishing my doctoral thesis. In...

Carl, North Carolina, 1969. No. 078: Mostly Came Back

In October 1969 I decided I would finish that semester, then drop out of college and bartender for awhile. I wanted to take a break. I was skinny, had flat feet and thought I would never qualify for service. The night of the lottery everyone was watching. My number...

Robert, Kansas, 1969. No. 247: Life or Death For Some

I was studying electrical engineering at the University of Kanas, which was a 4 1/2 year program.  We had to convince my draft board to give me the final 6 months draft deferment to finish the degree. I had been notified earlier in the year that I would be drafted as...