I was a pacifist Bahai at the time of the war, having applied for a I-A-0 and been dropped to II-S since I was in college. Saint Louis Univ. started a BSSW program so I transferred to the School of Social Work. Never having draft age men they didn’t know how to submit student status verification to my Draft Board 11 in Edwardsville, IL so I got a red letter envelope, as notice to show cause why I should not be called for induction as I had been reclassified to 1-A-O. I went to my Dean and he had no idea of what to do. Luckily Father Barry McGannon, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, made a point of knowing every entering freshman when I entered in 1970 and when I ran across campus for his help he personally contacted my Draft Board and restored my II-S and then called my Dean at Social Work to give him a personal TUTORIAL on how to prepare a II-S deferment justification.In time, my views of life and the world changed. In 1974 I applied for a direct commission as a Social Work Graduate Student Officer Trainee and was commissioned into the US Army 29 OCT 74. After having left the Bahai faith and after earning my MSW, I went on to serve two years of active duty and a total of 20 years of active and Reserve duty, including a two-year Reserve tour in Special Operations as a Civil Affairs Officer. I eventually retired as A Major Social Work Officer.
As I like to say to the Vietnam Veterans that I have counseled as a Clinical Social worker in my 40 years in the VA, they and father McGannon gave me the chance to serve in the military my way and to be able to serve fellow soldiers with the skills and talents that I have in helping others .