This is absolutely true. I graduated UCLA in June, 1969, and was about to start graduate school in September when I received my notice to appear for the pre-induction physical. I knew this was coming — since I had lost my student deferment — but panicked and went to UCLA admin building which had a room in the basement devoted to selective service matters. In that room was a lengthy selective service manual which set forth all the medical conditions that would get you out of the draft. One of these was nearsightedness of 8.00 or more diopters of myopia (i.e., 20/800). It said that vision was determined solely by measuring the prescription in your glasses.

I was nearsighted, but not to that extent. So, I went to my optometrist and asked that he make a pair of glasses at 20/850, just to be sure. I wore them to my physical, barely able to see the back of the person in front of me as we went from room to room. When I got to the station that measured glasses, the medic who measured my glasses told me that I would not be drafted due to my prescription, but that I would have to see the Army opthamologist in the next room. I noticed there was equipment to do a complete eye exam and again panicked. However, the doctor simply shined a light in my eyes (presumably to see that I was really nearsighted — the light would not focus on my retina), then signed a form and said I would be classified I-Y (draftable only in a declared war). Sure enough, a few days later I received a new draft classification card with I-Y. All I-Y classifications were later converted to IV-F by Nixon before the ’72 election.

As it turned out, my lottery number a few months later was high, but I probably would have been drafted before the lottery happened, as I lived in West L.A. which was full of students who were otherwise exempt. I wonder if anyone else tried this. I kept the glasses for many years, then finally threw them out — with my draft card.