BROWSE STORIES

Jack, Georgia, 1969. No. 141: Flat-footed

I remember that day very well. I was living at Callaway Garden Apartments on the Atlanta highway. Myself and about 10 or 15 friends gathered at an apartment to wait for the lottery. Needless to say we had lots of beer and snacks and by the time the drawing was to...

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 023: The Worst And The Best

The Phi Deltas had a pool for the draft lottery. Number 5 won, I came in second. Number 5 was exempt, I was not. I graduated in August of 1971, and was drafted in December 1971. I served two years, in the medical corps. I liked the medical field and went back to...

Bill, Georgia, 1969. No. 065: First In The Party

I remember the lottery night well. I was in Waycross, Georgia on a University of Georgia Forestry School field trip.  It was supposed to be a fun lottery party, watching the show with our group of mostly seniors. I was nominated with a friend to pick up the supper and...

John, Mississippi, 1969: No. 047: A Master's In Basic Training

Throughout all four years of my baccalaureate education from 1965 to 1969 my male classmates who were not able to keep their grades up were being drafted out of school.  Some of them tried to get the girl students to get lower grades so that their grades would look...

Tommy, Georgia, 1969. No. 119: A Different Draft

I remember vividly having a relatively low lottery number (119) and being called for a physical. At the time I was classified II-S but I was about to enter grad school and lose the II-S status. The physical was interesting to say the least and fortunately I was...

Robert, Georgia, 1969. No. 310: A Lot To Be Desired

I was an advanced Army ROTC cadet at the University of Georgia majoring in Pharmacy which was a 5 or 6 year program (1965-1971). Having finished my ROTC course work in 1969, I did not attend any ROTC classes my last 2 years at Georgia, so I never went to the ROTC...

Jimmy, Georgia, 1969. No. 125: Part of a Larger Organization

I remember the lottery selection well. I was in the parking lot of the Coliseum at UGA drinking beer, believing I would be in the 300's and safe from the draft. But after drawing No. 125, my draft board was kind enought to let me know I was going to become part of a...

Bob, Georgia, 1969. No. 056: Chairman of the Board

I remember the lottery well. My number was 56. That was a guarantee to be drafted, but it did not matter to me as I had signed a ROTC contract in September of '69 and was effectively already a private in the US Army Reserve. I served on active duty in Asia for two...

Glenn, Kentucky, 1969. No. 244: Where Fates Were Decided

I had no fear or worries on the night of the lottery.  Not because of the high number my birthday drew, but because I was already in Vietnam, assigned to an artillery battery on a small hill in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam.  For us there, across the...

Charles, Georgia, 1969. No. 304: Enough For Both Of Us

On the night of the drawing, I was at the architecture building working on a design for my presentation at 8 am the following morning. A freshman shouted, anyone named Charles on this floor. I answered YES, and he said you have a call on the payphone in the hall. I...

David, Georgia, 1969. No. 011: Saved By Typing

I was at the University of Pennsylvania in my final year when the lottery occurred. I remember I was No. 11. I applied to Naval OCS. (Actually I accidentally got in line for the aviation program--the line was much shorter). I also sought out a slot in the Army Reserve...

Paul, Georgia, 1969. No. 083: Creative Ways To Get Out

Being No. 83, I was as good as gone but just as determined not to go. By then the usual medical tricks were not working. I did not know what I was going to do, but then read a book called 4-F, which explained the process and creative ways people were using to get out...

Kent, Georgia, 1969. No. 126: Assignment Germany

I reported to Ponce De Leon on May 27 and had to return on the 28th for a medical consultation. I was inducted on June 1, 1970  at 4:10 and arrived at Ft. Jackson around 10 that night by bus. Ended up being a Tracked Vehicle Mechanic assigned to Illesheim, Germany....

Stephen, Georgia, 1969. No. 294: Invincible And Immortal

We were I-S (student deferment), about to turn magically into I-A (fit for military service).  It was December 1.  All the TV rooms of Russell Hall were packed.  I was a 19 year old junior in the chemistry department.  I roomed on the 9th floor, and I think the 8th...

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 300: Cheers And Groans Down The Hall

I was taking a business law test on the night of the drawing, and we were all distracted and wanting wanting to finish and go to a T.V. where the lottery was playing. We could actually hear cheers and groans from a group watching from down the hall. For many of...

Mike, Georgia, 1969. No. 019: Who Fought And Who Was Excused

 I had a very low lottery numer, but my draft status was decided before the drawing.  While a student in 1969, I neglected to fill out the forms that showed I was in good standing with UGa. One day a draft notice came to me by mail. I was dumbstruck, but reported for...

Gerald, Georgia, 1969. Hung Over In The Pool

I was at UGA during the draft lottery working on my doctorate which I received in 1971. The day after the lottery, while I was teaching a swimming class in the old UGA pool, all of my students were talking about where they stood. Two students were all "hung over" from...

Stu, Georgia, 1969. No. 305: Germany Instead

Like all male students at a Land Grant college, I had to take the first two years of Basic ROTC courses.  One fateful day, I got a letter from my "friends" at the Draft Board informing me that, since I was 1 credit shy of where I should have been in my academic...

Steve, California, 1969. No. 046: Trails of Destiny

Life is about choices.  Timing of those choices creates one’s personal destiny. I believe the 1969 draft lottery led to certain personal choices that greatly affected the destiny of who, what and where I am today, in 2013.I had been assigned a II-S educational...

Mike, California, 1969. No. 239: The Meaning Of A Number

239 was the number that saved my life. That "luck of the draw" kept me from going over to Vietnam to fight in some useless war based on the lie known as the "domino theory".The "Domino Theory" was to Vietnam as "WMD" was to the Iraq war. It was a lie generated by the...

Waymon, Georgia, 1969. No. 118: Pay My Way Through

Like most all other freshmen & sophmores at UGA, I was required to take those two years of ROTC. Most were Army, some of the others chose Air Force. My two years ended in the fall of 1968. I then had to sign on the dotted line to take advanced ROTC, which meant an...

Terry, Kentucky, 1969. No. 348: Prodded, Poked, Declared Fit

I'd marched through Cincinnati streets to the draft board and been prodded and poked and declared fit, but I had student deferments and then a teaching deferment for one year. I drew No. 348 in the lottery. I always remembered that number because it matched the engine...

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 058: Reserved Spot In The Guard

I had a date the night of the lottery and we went to the Beechwood Cinema for a show. We left after the movie was over and went to a friend's apartment close by. All there were watching the lottery drawing with bated breath! Eventually everyone but me had breathed a...

Carl, N.C., 1969. No. 021: Look At The List And Pick One

I was a Senior majoring in wildlife management at the University of Georgia.  I lived in Tucker Hall, a dormitory consisting mainly of Agricultural and Forestry students.  The evening of the lottery, everyone was crowded around a radio.  There must have been twenty...

Steve, Pennsylvania, 1969. No. 364: No Ticket Needed

Not being much of a gambler, I've never bought a lottery ticket of any sort over the years.  However, the draft lottery was not something which I could choose not to participate in.  I was in my sophomore year in college when the lottery was conducted.  My birth date,...

Gary, Maryland, 1969. No. 253: Two Days Before

On 29 November, 1969, I began my two years of service as a 2LT in the US Army Field Artillery.  Two days later, the first draft lottery was conducted. My number was 253. I read about the lottery in the newspaper while I was at Fort Sill, OK. I just laughed about...

Stephens, Georgia, 1969. No. 052: No Volunteering

I was in my senior year at the University of Georgia. All of the officer candidate schools were full (except the Marine Corps). I took the test for the Marine Corps Officers Candidate School and was accepted almost immediately. Of course, the mortality rate for a...

William, Georgia, 1970. No. 268: Missed The Bus At Poncy's Place

I worked all the way through UGA with a II-S draft deferral. Then I missed a quarter in my sophomore-junior year due to not having enough money for tuition. Within 3 weeks I received a draft notice making me I-A and I was immediately sent to Atlanta for a physical....

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 235: Funny Thing About The Lottery

The funny thing about the whole lottery process is that I was going to join the Navy when I completed high school and use the GI bill to attend college just like my father had for WWII.  But my parents talked me into going straight to college from high school, since...

Charles, Georgia, 1969. No. 211: Experiences of Life

In late 1968, while in my second year at  the University of Georgia which included enrollment in Air Force ROTC, I became aware of the opportunity to join a new local National Guard unit. My choices were: to continue in ROTC, to stay in school and take my chances with...

Harry, North Carolina, 1969. No. 025: S. Georgia To The Gulf of Tonkin

I was raised in South Georgia on a farm with a loving family and a HERO as an older brother. My brother spent 18 months in the Marines (1968-69). He too is a UGA graduate (1966). He spent time in Quang Tri, Viet Nam and made it home safely, thank the Lord. I remember...

Chuck, Illinois, 1969. No. 358: Unhappy Roommates

My two room mates and I sat in front of a TV at the Calloway Gardens Apartments and watched while they pulled out the draft numbers in 1969. One room mate's number was 14, the one was 17.  My number never came up, the reason being that they only had the first 300...

Patrick, Georgia, 1969. No. 001: The Wire Report

The night of the lottery I was working at the office of The Red and Black, UGA's student newspaper.  The first wire report read September 4 as the first number drawn; after I had breathed a sigh of relief, a correction came through:  September 14.  My life was changed...

Frank, Georgia, 1969. No. 070: Flying In My Blood

In 1966 I graduated from a public all-boys high school that had mandatory Army ROTC. Those were good years but I learned enough about the Army to realize that I did not want to walk through Rice Paddy 101. Being accepted to UGA gave me a II-S deferment plus they had...

John, Georgia, 1969. No. 257: The Big Haircut

I had graduated high school in 1963 at age 17 and was already in college when I registered for the draft.  We filled out the forms and sent them to the draft board every quarter the entire time we were in school, to keep the all-important II-S deferment.  The war was...

Wyman, Georgia, 1969. No. 272: Numbers At The Game

I was at a Georgia basketball game when they called out the lottery numbers. I drew 272 but since I was already in Advanced ROTC, it didn't matter.  I received my orders for Vietnam on Friday the 13th of August 1971 and served with the 60th Signal Bn in Phu Lam until...

Tony, Georgia, 1969. No. 239: Out Of Touch In The Hospital

1969-70 was my senior year at UGA. From high school, Vietnam had been an ever-growing issue in the nation and in my life. There was collecting care packages for the troops, registering for the draft, taking the exemption exam as a freshman at UGA, the daily body count...

Jay, Florida, 1969. No. 269: Transistor To My Ear

My future wife and I were sitting in the stands at a University of Georgia basketball game at Stegman Coliseum when they began calling out the draft numbers on the radio.  I had a transitor pressed to my ear as did many, many others. By the end of the game, they still...

Bill, Georgia, 1969. No. 176: Real Serious, Real Fast

I was a a senior at UGA scheduled to graduate from Business School in the fall of 1969.  My brother graduated from Fla. State with an accounting degree the year before, was immediately drafted and within 12 months was in country and avoiding firefights. He was with...

Dan, Florida, 1970. No. 160: Dodging Into the Marines

We all knew the date of the lottery. That night we gathered around the TV in the living room of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house at the University of Georgia.  Probably the best attended function ever. As the numbers were called out you would look around the room...

Kemp, Georgia, 1969. No. 090: Two Years From A Life

The draft impacted the men of my generation in many, many ways, whether they were called or not. Some good, some bad, some enriching, some deadly. The fraud of avoiding being called would have scarred me no less than a bullet, so I did my duty and came out better for...

Joseph, Georgia, 1969. No. 358: Often Wondered

In 1969 I was in the graduate program in Psychology at the University of Georgia.  I had already been called by the selective service to have a physical at Fort Jackson in Columbia SC and had been classified I-A following that physical.  The physical was completed in...

Stephen, Georgia, 1969. No. 273: Limbo

I finished at the University of Georgia in December 1969.  I remember the night of the draft lottery and the wild time after.  Some were celebrating and some were drowning their sorrow.  I remember that many guys in ROTC had high numbers and were drowning their...

Chuck, Alabama, 1969. No. 219: Embrace The Challenges

I grew up in the Atlanta area and graduated from Marist, a private Catholic military high school at the time. The grades were, frankly, average but I was expected to attend college, any college, to have a chance at success in business and life in general.I enrolled at...

Claude, 1969. No. 037: First SOB With Nothing Wrong

I had number 37 drawn for me, but I had a student deferment as I was in college. I graduated from college December 1970. Got my notice for my physical the latter part of January--they said to bring my suitcase because when I passed the physical I was going straight to...

Steve, California, 1972. No. 338: Delayed Delivery

I was born January 5, 1953, but according to my dad I was supposed to be born earlier. My folks told me that in late December 1952, my dad took my mom out for a drive on a very rough and bumpy dirt road in an attempt to start labor. I didn't budge, and waited until...

Jim, Kentucky, 1969. No. 359: Watching Over Me

My story actually begins in the fall of 1965.  After graduating high school in 1964 and attending UK School of Architecture for one year, not applying myself at school, flunking out, then sitting out the fall semester of 1965, I was then drafted into military service...

John, New Jersey, 1969. No. 059: The Bar Next Door

I was in a college town when the lottery was held.  I saw the numbers listed on an Associated Press teletype that had been set up in a downtown storefront.  Fortunately, the store was next to a college bar which soon had an overflowing crowd.  I kept my deferment...

George, Massachusetts, 1969. No. 049: Looking Back

The lottery changed my life forever. In 1969 I was a senior in high school and the Vietnam War was very hot. The neighborhood hero was an Air Force pilot who was shot down and killed over North Vietnam. My girlfriend's only brother stepped on a mine and was killed....

Robert, England, 1972. No. 358: Home for Christmas

Although I now live in England, I lived in Buffalo, NY, USA throughout the Vietnam War.  I was never sorry that I got out of going to war with a high number, 358.  I have composed lyrics to "I'll Be Home For Christmas" for those who got exempted with high numbers. ...