I had a student deferment until the lottery was implemented. In December of 1969 I was in my first year of law school at the University of Wisconsin. In early 1970 the 826th Ordinance unit of the U.S. Army Reserves, headquartered in Madison, returned from Vietnam. Most members of the unit had fulfilled their respective military commitments and this opened approximately 200 positions. I applied to join this reserve unit. The Warrant Officer accepting applications mildly resisted my joining because my hair was a little long and he thought I was not serious or that I was just a university protester trying to make trouble. When I maintained my seriousness about joining, he said: Okay, but I am going to make you a cook and I agreed and I was accepted. I left for Basic Training in June, 1970 and completed training as an army cook in October, 1970. I then returned to Madison and was permitted to rejoin my law class immediately. I completed law school with my class of 1972 and continued to perform my US Army Reserve commitment. In 1974 I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and I was then discharged for medical reasons in approximately May, 1975 — approximately one year before completing my 6 year Reserve committment. I have engaged in private law practice in Madison, Wisconsin ever since that time.
I did not want or enjoy my army experience at the time, but I learned a lot and I consider it to have been a significant experience — not because it made me happy, but because I got to experience the military first hand and got a real sense of what my peers were going through. I was fortunate that my experience stopped short of actually experiencing combat. It left me with numerous army stories that were frequently humorous and often instructive. I learned a lot about the military and how a militaristic organization operates and what values it often exhibits.