Truthfully, I don’t actually remember my specific lottery number, just that it was rather high (near the likely breakpoint for call-ups).  I was already a university student so my original draft status of 1-A-O granted when I turned 18 for religious objection to war was changed to 2-S.  Over the course of 1969, however, I became increasingly confused, feeling guilty that I was exempt simply because I was a student and others were being drafted simply because they were poor or not able to attend college.  The lack of fairness in the system really affected me.  Consequently I recinded my 2-S status and resolved to take whatever consequences ensued.  That year the draft call-up came within two numbers of mine in my home county. 

Needless to say I was relieved that I didn’t get called for duty, but I never accepted the unfairness of the whole system.  A decade later I was still trying to sort out the pain and antagonism between my friends that went and those that resisted.  Both types of men acted on their consciences and both suffered a variety of types of pain.  The ones I never had much time for were those who "tricked the system" for personal gain rather than a stand on conscience, those who believed they were entitled to better or different treatment because they were somehow more important. 

I’m sure you are looking for more animated stories and perhaps you see this as philosophical.  I assure you it is not.  It was never about philosophies for me; rather it was and remains about painful questions of conscience tested against the vagaries of history and the always unfair pressures asserted by social class in so-called "classless" America.  And I remind all readers that many women suffered as well even though they were never directly "numbered" by their country.  They served and died in Vietnam and they served and suffered back home in a wide variety of ways, sharing their trials with the men they loved and befriended.

I would like to add one more comment about my 1_A-O status.  In fact, I was not a politically clued-in young man before college.  I worked full-time in a grocery store while in high school because I knew that I would have to put myself through college and that the university would be the only way out of my small-minded hometown.  The assassinations of the 1960s had deeply affected me.  When it came time to register for the draft, it never occured to me to either evade nor embrace the draft.  I simply filled out the application and wrote my immediate responses to the questions, including the one about whether I could engage in combat.  When I recieved the 1-A-O classification, I had to look it up to see what it meant.  By my interpretation it meant that my most likely duty station would be in conflict, but not behind a weapon.  I figured that likely mean a medic and I was fine with that. 

I suspect that there were many like me who simply acted within the parameters of their own conscience rather than on the larger stage of the "rightness" or "wrongness" of this particular war.  After all we were young boys/men who had been weaned on the glory stories of WWII (the big one) and the Korean Conflict.  How many of us upon signing up for the draft before the Tet offensive really had the perspective to evaluate what was really going on.  What we had was our conscience and ultimately our fears and sense of fairness.  What we each did is part of the fabric of our subsequent lives and forever trivialized by the cliches of latter-day analysts of history.