I was in my sophmore year at UCSB, listening to the first draw with my friends.  None of us supported the war; we couldn’t understand why American boys our age needed to die to keep a country in SE Asia from falling to Communism.  The draft seemed unfair, particularly the lottery. And as it turned out, I was the only person I knew at UCSB to draw a low number.  No one else I knew had to worry about their future being disrupted by the war.  I did have a friend who was going into the Air Force ROTC medic program considered unlikely to go to Vietnam and I thought about doing that, but it just didn’t seem fair that I had to do anything to avoid service when none of my friends would have to serve.  As long as I was an undergraduate, I was deferred, but my low lottery number meant that I would be first to go after graduation.  Another  friend of a friend of mine smashed his finger with a hammer the night before his induction and was rejected.  My Dad knew a lawyer who did free draft counseling and I learned that there were height and weight regulations.  At the time I was 5′ 11 3/4" and only weighed 135, and I was told that if I weighed 127 pounds I would be deferred.  The summer after graduation, I stopped eating between meals and easily got down to 130.  In the fall of ’71, I got married and started law school.  I was determined not to be the only one I knew who would possibly not be able to achieve my goals and dreams and during my first semester at law school I went on a diet and lost a couple more pounds before my draft physical.  It made me very weak and at times I fell asleep in class and would be awakened by classmates.  At the end, I would only sleep and go to class. The night before my draft physical, I weighed 127, but was very concerned I would be inducted anyway, so I went to a health club and sat in the steam room off and on for hours, never drinking any water.  I also took diuretics to eliminate as much water as possible.
The next morning I was so dehydrated I couldn’t take myself to the draft board.  When they took my blood, it coated the tube.  I had a letter from a doctor stating I was sick and could not gain weight no matter what I ate. They knew of my doctor at the draft board and joked that he usually got people disqualified for having bad backs.  But when I was weighed I was 115 pounds and they gave me a 1-H classification and told me I had to come back in 6 months.  During that time there was zero draft call and I was eventually re-classified as permanently disqualified (1-Y).  Had I not been disqualified, my wife and I had considered leaving for Canada.  The Vietnam war made no sense to me and I still feel that nothing was accomplished by it except an unacceptable loss of life on both sides and the beginning of the rest of the world hating us.  But in addition, it seemed completely unfair to have my future determined by the lottery when I knew no other people in that position.  If I had to do it over again I would do the same thing.