I had my undergraduate degree and was already teaching elementary school in the Madison school district before the lottery. My school had a lot of high-need students, many from single parent families. The school district sent yearly letters to my draft board in Minnesota asking that I be kept exempt from the draft. Back in those days, teachers–particularly male elementary teachers–were in short supply. 

I was never drafted, but I came close. I had a bad lottery number and could have been among the first to go. I was in grad school at UW-Madison from 1969 to 1972. In 1972, days before my Master’s exam, I did have to appear before the local draft board, and I took a doctor’s letter in regards to high blood pressure. 

From my time at UW, I remember the tear gas, demonstrations, boarded windows on State Street–I even heard the bomb go off at Sterling Hall. I knew many who went to Vietnam and some who did not come back. I certainly did not support that war. I did end up having a very rewarding teaching career and am now retired.