I remember the day of the lottery like it was yesterday. At the time, I was a senior at St. Paul’s School, an all boys Catholic high school in Covington, Louisiana. We were in homeroom watching a black and white television. As the numbers were called, I could hear my fellow seniors gasp or moan. Someone even received number one, an event that made for quite a bit of discussion.

We all left for class afterwards agitated and uncertain about our futures. But, luckily, the Paris Peace Accord of January 1973 prevented our going to Vietnam. And, in a bit of an ironic twist, about a year later, in June 1973, I volunteered for the U.S. Army and served until honorably discharged in June 1976.