It was 1 December 1969, and I was a freshman at the University of Rhode Island. Forty or so guys were huddled around the big TV in the lobby watching the results.

About twenty-five of us put $1 each into a pool so that the guy who drew the lowest number would win the pool. Well, my roommate who had a birthday of 9 November drew the lowest number of the group (80) and I drew the second lowest (105). He happily collected his money only to find out that both he and I were not eligible for this lottery–we were both born in 1951 and would have to wait until July of 1970 for the next lottery to be held! That fact didn’t faze my roommate who gave one of the "over 21 guys" about $15 and said to buy beer for the guys in the lobby.

I drew No. 323 in the official lottery in July of 1970 and made it out of college in ’73. They ended the draft that year but drafted people as late as September. My II-S was converted to I-H in my senior since the RI draft board told me that anyone with a number over 300 would be placed in 1-H. I never served, but have the utmost respect for people who did. My father is an ex-Marine WWII veteran who served in the Pacific and he is currently 93!