I was in the Peace Corps in West Africa when I learned of my draft number. It was considered too low at the time. I extended for a 3rd year, returning to the US in 1971. While substitute teaching in Cleveland, I secured conscientious objector status base on my personal philosophy (the way having been cleared by Muhammad Ali’s Supreme Court decision while I was in Africa).
I moved to California to get ready to do alternative service, taking a ground crew job at a seminary. 1971 was the year the draft authorization expired. The draft was down for awhile in the fall, and once Congress got it going again, the military announced that they would stop at 125 that year, much lower than they had expected. Around December 10th, the military announced that they would call no further 1-A’s up for duty. I waited out the year, thinking I was safe; but received a letter from my draft board in early January calling me to do alternative service. I wrote back and said they could not do that because they had stopped calling up 1-A’s. Months went by without me hearing further, during which the draft boards were changed from the county to the state level. Ultimately I heard from the Ohio state draft board that I was right, and that they would not call me up for alternative service. I wasted an entire year mowing lawns and weeding gardens.