I was a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I graduated in 1971, so it may have been the 1970 lottery. I am not sure. This was after Woodstock, which I attended, and after I was arrested in New York State for a pencil thin joint of marijuana. (I spent a night in jail. The charges were reduced, as it was a felony. I believe that I was charged with a misdemeanor, and the police wanted to know who sold me the marijuana in Madison….somehow, I couldn’t remember).
I am a New Yorker. I grew up in the northern suburbs. When it was time to go college, I ended up at my safety college, Franklin and Marshall, which I hated. After serveral weeks, I knew that I had to transfer. Luckly for me, I ended up in Madison. During the fall of 1968, Madison was a hopping place. First, there was the Black Students rights, "reinstate the Oshkosh Blacks", which was followed by anti-Vietnam protests, closing the University prematurely during the spring semister of my Sophomore and Junior years. It was during my sophomore year that the lottery took place.
Naturally, I was very frightened. If I was to have gotten a low number, I was going to plead a case for a medical condition. (I had a history of asthma, dating from childhood). My mother was already helping me to obtain a letter from my doctor. I considered homosexuality also, but my best bet was asthma. I didn’t have the guts to be like Arlo Guthrie. I didn’t think that I could pull it off ("I want to KILL".).
The night of the lottery, I was with some friends. We were all scared. Unfortunately, my friend Hal got an early number, which was bad luck (He became a homosexual). Later on, another friend also got a fairly low number. He was a graduate student, and he left for Canada. This occurred duing the semester break. He didn’t tell anyone that he was going to leave, but, later on, I did visit him in Toronto.
I waited and waited. Finally, I found out that I was number 305. I was born on January 1. What a relief. I considered this to be one of the luckiest days of my life. THERE WAS NO WAY THAT I WAS GOING TO VIETNAM!!!!
I continued to be an anti-war activist, participaing in all of the protests and taking a bus for one of the marches in Washington DC. I consider these times to be instrumental in the formation of my values. Later on I became a Psychologist, and I still practice. My speciality is children, and I am also bilingual, working with the poorer populaitons, which are underserved.
I am also adamantly against the war in Iraq, and I am hopeful that it may end soon. I am also thankful that my son does not have to be drafted into the military, although it still seems unfair that the less wealthy parts of the society always ending up fighting.