James, Texas, 1969. No. 011: The Gates of Leavenworth

     In December 1969 I was a married, fourth-year graduate student in chemistry at the University of Kansas when I drew No. 11 in the draft lottery. I had successfully completed the requirements for a Ph.D. and was in the process of publishing my doctoral thesis. In...

Carl, North Carolina, 1969. No. 078: Mostly Came Back

In October 1969 I decided I would finish that semester, then drop out of college and bartender for awhile. I wanted to take a break. I was skinny, had flat feet and thought I would never qualify for service. The night of the lottery everyone was watching. My number...

Robert, Kansas, 1969. No. 247: Life or Death For Some

I was studying electrical engineering at the University of Kanas, which was a 4 1/2 year program.  We had to convince my draft board to give me the final 6 months draft deferment to finish the degree. I had been notified earlier in the year that I would be drafted as...

Ron, Texas, 1969. No. 256: Ride Out The Year

My experience with the draft began in 1964. That year, like many men, I asked for a four year college deferment. Since my degree was Architecture and it was a five year program, I was not sure what would happen at the end of year four. I then had to beg for the fifth...

Pete, Kansas, 1969. No. 193: A Big Target

I was lottery number 193.  At the time of the drawing I was a senior at the University of Kansas and was going to graduate in May of 1970.  I felt sure I would be drafted as soon as I graduated.  I’m 6’4″ tall and weighed about 250 and all my buddies...

Scott, Colorado, 1969. No. 168: On the Air.

At the time I received my draft lottery notification, I decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force for four years.  I majored in Journalism (Radio-TV-Film) at KU and received my B.S. degree in 1970.  The Air Force needed broadcast journalists at that time, so I...