I was in college at UCLA when they did the lottery. I graduated in June, 1971 & was immediately contacted about taking a physical at the Alameda Naval Air Station in Oakland. I had been accepted to a Ph.D. program at Cal. My wife & I were moving to Berkeley that summer. I went in for the physical, which took almost the entire day. Unfortunately, I appeared to be completely fine, so I was afraid I’d be off for Vietnam in no time. But at the end of the day, you got 15 minutes one on one with a doctor, to discuss medical history, or anything else they might want to know that hadn’t come up yet. So I tell the physician I’d had acne pretty bad for years on my face, chest, & back. I’d been treated countless times by dermatologists when I was in high school & at UCLA. The doctor examines my skin, & changes my status to I-Y, which is what they would do for someone with a broken leg. When I asked why, he says that Vietnam is so humid that in the infantry, people with skin like mine were getting bad infections & being sent home.

So I was deferred until the next year, but the way the rules worked, they had to call everyone from that year before they would get to me, so I never had to go. The skin condition/disease I had hated for a decade saved me from fighting in the war.