Berg, NC, 1969. No. 197: Minesweeping No, Teaching Yes.

I was sitting pretty in March 1969. Had a full scholarship offer to Oceanographic School at FSU after I finished at Duke. My planned marriage in June would give me a draft deferment. Then the bottom fell out: no more marriage deferments, or grad school either. My dad...

Parks, NC, 1969. No. 70: Three Year Sabbatical

In my senior year at Duke I drew No. 70. So I chose to join the NC National Guard (6 year enlistment).  I was told to be ready to go to basic training in January, 1970.  Duke would not refund tuition for this voluntary obligation that took me out of school, so I...

Steve, Colorado, 1969. No. 154: The Difference In Two Wars

I was born in 1948 and I recall being subject to the first draft lottery.  For me, however, it was not relevant.  I had previously received a IV-F classification (unfit for service) from the Omaha draft board based on a letter from my doctor.  I had and have asthma. ...

Bill, Pennsylvania, 1969. No. 77: What A Bummer

Senior year at Duke, for some reason the local TV stations weren’t going to broadcast the lottery from the start. So we listened live on the Duke radio station for the first 30 minutes, until TV coverage started. They got to about No. 65 by then. I was feeling...

Bob, Virginia, 1969. No. 004: Aftershock

I grew up as a military brat. At the height of the Vietnam war my dad was Surgeon for the 5th Air Force, based at Fuchu Air Station just outside of Tokyo. He was responsible for all AF hospitals along the Pacific rim: Okinawa (then still under U.S.occupation), the...

Steve, Virginia, 1969. No. 223: Decades Pondering

My story has no cosmic implications, and may seem trivial to others. But it’s memorable to me, anyway, as someone who has now spent many decades pondering and re-re-re-pondering Vietnam, for its little bitter taste of capricious irony. Myself, I was already...