Jack, Georgia, 1969. No. 291: Freedom Isn't Free

I was one of the lucky ones.  Watching the lottery drawing with my fraternity brothers at Duke University, many of whose lives changed during those agonizing few hours, became increasingly gleeful for me with the ongoing consumption of beer, and the number of...

Larry, Alabama, 1969. No. 279: Ministry And Teaching

I graduated from Duke in 1969 and started that fall at Yale Divinity School. I had an automatic IV-D deferment as a divinity school student, and I felt guilty about it–but not guilty or courageous enough to turn down my deferment and claim conscientious objector...

Russ, Ohio, 1969. No. 363: Survivor's Guilt

I received my draft physical notice shortly after graduation in 1969.  At the time there were several schemes passed by word of mouth regarding how to fail the physical, among them being to eat a bushel of bananas.  My preferred method was to find a doctor who could...

David, Georgia, 1969. No. 169: The Monster Was Real

The Vietnam war and the draft were an immense weight on male college students. And of course, far more intense for those non-students who were drafted. Students had the II-S deferment, but there was always this monster–the draft and shipment to...

John, North Carolina, 1969. No. 028: Karma Is A Bitch

I remember sitting around the commons room getting drunk and cheering as each number was drawn. Mine was pretty low at 28. I remember that it was low enough to make it suicidal to drop out of school. I had considered taking time out of school for “personal...

Larry, North Carolina, 1969. No. 230: Convoluted Escape

I had originally planned to enroll in Navy ROTC when I entered Duke, but my major (Physics) advisor AND the ROTC Commander both suggested that I finish my undergraduate degree and then apply to OCS. So I was not unwilling to serve when the lottery was held, but I just...