Well today is my birthday (July 9). About 38 years ago I hit the jackpot with No. 1 in the lottery. It forever shaped my future. You could not get a decent job because the first thing they would ask you was "What’s your number". Answer would be "Come back and see us when you get out". I had a decision to make and it did not involve going North, chopping a finger off, turning gay, etc. The only decision was: should I enlist for 4 years or get drafted for 2? I went to my oldest brother who served in Korea and had a tank blown out from under him and his buddies. War is bad little brother, he told me. No matter how hard you try, what you have seen and what you have done will never leave you. It is something that you have to learn to live with. I knew what he meant. War is about killing and that was something that I did not want to do. After talking to all the recruiters I made up my mind to serve my country by joining the Navy. There was a chance that I would have to go in-country but not as sure as if I was drafted. I did my 4 years, got out and still could not get a decent job because of the recession in 1973. I had to buy a job at an employment agency. It has worked out though. My only regret is not being sent to Nam. Even though I did serve I feel like I should have been there. When I go to the Wall I feel like maybe if I was there maybe just one name wouldn’t be up there. To all you men and women that were there, I salute you. I pray that God will grant you peace. For all that are on the Wall, Rest In Peace. To all you draft dodgers–shame on you. Yes, war is wrong but if it wasn’t for war you would not be where you are or have what you have. To all you Creedence Clearwater "Fortunate Sons"–count your lucky stars and I hope your BMWs break down.