About a dozen of us guys in Sullivan dorm (NCSU) sat up to watch the lottery. I was never lucky and this night my number came up much too soon. 39. Disappointment and a big dose of apprehension. I wasn’t particularly focused and at the end of the semester flunked out. Major fear now. But, thanks to concerned parents and a new focus on what was important, I enrolled in community college, got some good grades, went to summer school, got my GPA up and was readmitted to NCSU.
I studied my butt off through my last two years and graduated in four years, on time. But, alas, upon graduation in May 1971 I was without a job. I expected to be reclassified I-A at any moment. I think it was June 30, 1971, the draft was suspended. I just knew it was going to resume, so on July 20th, I enlisted in the Air Force. I actually got a career field that was interesting…military pay and my first and only duty station was Myrtle Beach, SC. I worked from 7:30 TO 4:30 Monday through Friday in an air conditioned office. Golf on weekends and some Wednesdays, the beach, fishing…what more can a man ask for.
Anyway, after 3 years 10 months and 15 days, I was released from my enlistment. I wanted to go back to school (on the GI Bill) where I earned an MBA. The rest is history. I am a successful business financial vice-president for a manufacturing company.
In hindsight, the 39 draft number which scared the pudding out of me in 1969 did change my life for the better. I had not really thought about it much until I got this email, but 39 was lucky for me after all.