I clearly remember gathering around the TV with my UNC college friends the night the draft lottery took place. One of my friends was in Navy ROTC and drew #11. We all laughed, he was going. He wound up in CIC (combat information section) on board a carrier in the Med and never saw Vietnam.
I drew number 218. At the time it was unknown how high they would go for people. I had been college deferred the first two years. I had not thought much about the possibility of service in the military, and in particular going into a hot war in Vietnam. By this time it had been going on since the early 1960’s, over twice as long as WWII. How long could it last? The body count each week in the 100’s, seemed remote from our lives in Chapel Hill.
They reached 195 that year and I was never called to duty. I would have probably gone. We were concerned that college students had a high likelihood of becoming 2nd LT. The first line officer and the radioman had the highest casualty rates in the war.
Looking back at the history of the Vietnam War I have to say it would have been a waste of my time and potentially life to have had to serve. In my view this country has fallen into the same mode as Great Britain was in for 200 years. It is trying to maintain a world order based on our economic interests. I only have one life–to have wasted it or have been wounded in one of the endless series of wars this country is now involved in would have been a travesty.
My dad was a Lt in the Navy in WWII. Still alive at 86 he rarely talks about his service on a destroyer escort in the South Atlantic. He was only in for 1.5 years and saw little action. I have a son 15 now. If a draft were to be reinstituted and he was called to the next Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Panama, Serbia, Lebanon, etc. I would do everything in my power to keep him out of it. Wars are fought by old men who use young men to do the fighting and dying. I have been appalled by the ineptness and callousness of US commanders in WWII who lost thousands of people needlessly.
The elites of this country rarely put themselves in harm’s way. Look at the "top ten" of those who evaded or did not go to the front.
I’ll be damned to let a snotty nose spoiled brat like George Bush send a son of mine to be killed or maimed for his right wing religious beliefs.
The human race is pretty immature. I do not have much faith in its longevity. Mother Nature has a way of correcting imbalances. The Earth cannot support billions and billions of people. I fear that these lunatic religious-based terrorists and their fellow travelers will ignite the spark that will cause the extinction of the human race as we know it.
Vietnam? 55,000 dead, 250,000 wounded, incalculable mental damage, loss of national treasure, the destruction in the belief that America is a fair and honorable country………. What a waste! I feel sorry for those that tried to do the "right" thing and go to war. I feel lucky it wasn’t me but for the luck of the draw.