In December 1969, I was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, Marathon County Center.  My study habits were poor and my grades reflected that.  When lottery number 83 was drawn for my birthday,  I felt that military service via the draft was inevitable.  In January 1970, along with dismal fall semester grades came a notice that I was dropped from school.  Of course my draft board promptly reclassified me I-A.  My options were 1) to wait until I got drafted, which based upon my number would likely occur in the first half of the year; 2) enlist and choose my branch of service or 3) appeal to the university and try to get re-admitted.  I had a long talk with an older brother, who had enlisted in the army in 1964 and did a tour in Vietnam.  His no-nonsense advice was to get back in school and stay in school until I graduated.  He said this was my best chance to get a quality education and I’d be foolish to let it slip away.  Further, he pointed out that I had nothing to gain and much to lose (potentially my own life) by dropping school and getting drafted.  Following his advice, I made a pitch to the university appeals committee to get re-admitted.  Apparently some on the committee saw some potential in me and I was re-admitted on Final Probation.  From that point on, I took my continued quest for a degree seriously.  However, that I-A classification still hung around my neck like a millstone.  In February 1970, I was ordered to take a pre-induction physical.  I still remember the cold and gloomy bus ride from Merrill to Milwaukee and back with a couple of dozen other potential draftees.  I easily passed their minimal requirements and it looked like I would be called up before the end of the semester.  As spring approached, I went to my draft board, explained that I was back in school full-time and asked them to re-instate my student deferment.  A few weeks later, I was thrilled to get their brief letter indicating my request had been approved.  For the next two years, as the Vietnam War ground on and public acceptance for the war steadily erroded, I kept my nose to the grindstone.  While I was never a top honors student, I did make the Deans List my last two semesters.  In May, 1972, I graduated with a BS in Soil Science.  1972 was the last year for the draft and they only took men with numbers up to 95.  My 83 made it until September before the induction notice showed up in the mail.  It said I had a week to get my affairs in order and report for duty.  I spent the next a day calling and visiting local National Guard and Army Reserve units.  I found that most had vacancies.  I promptly signed on with a local army reserve unit.  The following January, I was sent to Fort Polk, LA where I spent nearly five months in Basic and AIT training before returning to Madison and my home unit.  While in training at Fort Polk, we heard that the US officially ended its involvement in the Vietnam War; how ironic.  The reserve commitment required weekend duty and summer camps for six years.  I found this service obligation to be dull and tedious but far safer than the draft/induction route that I so narrowly avoided in early 1970, at the height of the war.