By the time of the first lottery I had already been "drafted."  I somehow persuaded local draft board 92 that I was a conscientious objector.  I was re-classified, after my successful appeal of the original denial, from I-A to I-O.  That latter status did not relieve one of the obligation to "serve" although in my opinion what the so-called greatest generation made us do was not service to anyone in any sense of that word, but, instead, was a disservice to all mankind.

I had to locate civilian work that "served the national interest."  What they meant was the lowest form of hospital or similar work.  I reported for "duty" at a local hospital where I was working in the non-medical storeroom at the time of the lottery, meaning that the lottery, despite my clearly favorable number, was too late to "save" me.  I’d have happily given that number to someone else.  My last day of involuntary servitude was February 9, 1971, the day of the earthquake.  The earthquake was at 6:00 and I was at the hospital by about 6:30 to assist with emergency work, although by that time I was working in the Purchasing Department. 

I had a friend who had also been granted CO status and started work in late summer or early fall, 1969.  Somehow he figured out he could renounce his CO status and take his similarly high lottery number meaning he had no service.  I didn’t know if I could do that or not, but since I knew guys were dying (clearly needlessly) I felt I should at least fulfill my service obligation.  I received no GI bill and no benefits at all, although I was likewise a slave.  A small price to pay for not being subjected to the terror and insanity of war, particularly that one.

I never blamed the troops for the war–it was clearly the work of evildoers in the government.  My sympathies for all casualties of the war, including the many of you still suffering from the inevitable effects of combat, whatever those effects may be.  My wife lost her fiancee in Vietnam a year or so before I started my service.  I love her dearly, but, despite a wonderful marriage and wonderful daughter, wish he had lived to marry her instead.