I was at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1967, and unsure of a major. The Vietnam Conflict was escalating, thanks to President LBJ, and I was concerned, and more than a little frightened. I was 18, away from home, meeting new and exciting people. It didn’t hurt that I could drink beer at 18, and I enjoyed the many "profound" conversations with peers as a result of said consumption. Of course, we had ALL the answers… I always liked to sing, and, when hooked up with a wonderful voice teacher, I discovered that I had a voice worth cultivating. I became a Voice major, and was allowed amazing opportunities to perform. At that time, as long as you remained enrolled in college, you were exempt. The lottery was a standing reality that, out of school, you were susceptible. The night the lottery numbers were announced was a terrific bar night on State Street. My number was 354 (March 14), that first year. I was lucky. I continued my education with a little more confidence than I might’ve otherwise. I went on to sing the lead roles in UW Opera productions of Stravinsky’s "The Rake’s Progress", Richard Strauss’ "Capriccio" and Poulenc’s "Les Mamelles de Tiresias". I was a popular soloist around town, the "tenor du jour". I wonder if I would’ve had those opportunities if I would’ve been drafted; I almost flunked out after my first year. The lottery was on my side, but I know a lot of people who went to Nam and were seriously affected. I am indeed a lucky one; not that I was against serving my country, but it was not a declared war, merely a "conflict", according to the powers that were. There were plenty of riots on the UW campus during that time. Our rehearsals were often cancelled because of tear gas thrown by over-zealous National Guard troops; hard to sing when you can’t breathe… The Guard can’t be blamed; they were young and as nervous and confused as the rest of us. Many were younger than I, at that time. We, in the Music School chose to pursue our art, look toward hope and beauty, and had little to do with the protests/ugliness. We would occasionally gather, and discuss the situation at large, minding our own business. Gosh! Isn’t that how Hitler took charge? Anyway, I remember getting gassed as I was trying to cross the Library Mall to go to my job as a bellboy at the Madison Inn (Langdon & Francis). It seemed like the shortest route, and…no one was there… Big mistake. They wasted a whole tear gas cannister on me; as luck would have it, Hillel, the Jewish foundation on campus was nearby and they rushed out and took me inside, ready with eye-wash, etc. I made it to work, and worked my shift, and went to campus the next day. This is only my story. Later, I watched a Guard make a pass at a coed, she slapped his hand, and he gun-butted her head. The conflict was in Nam, but there was a war going on at home. There was a bombing at UW during the summer (1971?) at Sterling Hall, at the Army Math Research Center. It was discovered that those who set the bomb had nothing to do with UW (Armstong brothers, David Fine, Leo Burt). A man was killed, an innocent PhD candidate named Robert Fassnacht, and the Army Math Research Center wasn’t touched at all. What was destroyed was the life work of at least a dozen professors…up in flame. I’d tell people later that I went to UW, and they’d say that I was a terrorist. That was always disconcerting. There’s an awful lot that isn’t known about went on in Madison during those years, and I don’t know because I tried very hard to mind my own business. I’m subsequently appalled at the treatment of Vietnam vets. I know MANY, and they aren’t as comfortable or relaxed as I recall, but doing their best to raise families and live normal lives. I’m 59 years old. We didn’t belong in Vietnam, just as we don’t belong in Iraq. I didn’t like the "conflict" in Vietnam, and I protested quietly. Still, I was treated the same. I learned an awful lot while at UW, and it wasn’t all academia.