I wasn’t subject to the draft because I had already served three years in the Marines before I started at UGA in 1966. But I was very aware of the draft because quite a few of my classmates were in law school simply to obtain a deferral, which I thought was not a high-minded reason to attend law school.

Years later, I was out on the porch one day having a chat with two guys from Athens. Somehow the conversation got around to the draft. One of the guys went into detail about how he went from deferral to deferral to avoid being drafted. Just like a lot of the guys I was in law school with–first you get a student deferral, when that dries up you get married, after that you and your wife have a baby. And in the end they managed to avoid the draft. The other guy then told his story, which was almost identical. As you might imagine, I have a low regard for this sort of thing, but I kept quiet, just listening in disgust. Finally, one of the guys asked, "Al, how did you get out of Vietnam?" Without even thinking about it and out of the blue, I responded, "On a C-130 out of Danang." Silence stalked the porch.

Semper fi.