Ed, California, Pre-lottery. No. 328: Fortunate Decision

I graduated in May 1969 with a B.S. in chemistry and was immediately re-classified as I-A. The September day that I moved my clothes into my room at Mizzou for graduate school, I received my induction notice. I was inducted in early October before the lottery in...

Jim, North Carolina, 1969. No. 301: Not a Fun Time

In the fall of ’69 it was not uncommon for young men like me to enroll in law school in the hope such a move would keep us out of the draft. I didn’t really want to study law, but it was certainly a good alternative to going to Vietnam. I received a full...

Mike, Tennessee, 1969. No. 318: Quirks of Fate

I was a journalism student at the University of Missouri. Thanks to a few “quirks of fate,” the draft lottery was essentially irrelevant to me. In 1968, I learned that I was going to be reclassified as 1-A in the draft system because I was five hours “behind” my...

Richard, Missouri, 1969. No. 057: 39 Years’ Service

I was not looking forward to military service during the Viet Nam war. In the fall of 1968 I applied for the USAF officer training school (OTS) and met all of their qualifications, but the USAF recruiting system lost all of my paperwork. I was offered the opportunity...

Raymond, Iowa, 1969. No. 136: Waiting List

I was at a Missouri basketball game when, at halftime, they announced the dates/numbers for the first drawing. I was married and had graduated that spring and immediately started that summer on my MBA. Like many others, I had put my name on the waiting list at...

Stephen, Missouri, 1969. No. 301: Would Have Been Much Different

One month after graduation from Mizzou in May 1969 I received my draft notice, ordered to report for induction at the end of September. Two days after my draft notice I got my acceptance letter from the Peace Corps. Had I gotten the Peace Corps letter before my draft...