I was in the first lottery. I was lucky. I recall clearly that day. I was sitting in the cafeteria at my college dorm listening to the radio broadcast of the numbers being called out, one by one. I have a December birthday. I was struck by how many December birthdays were being called out, compared to other months. I got one of the last December birthdays called, No. 165. Only a handful of other Decembers had higher numbers.
If I had been eligible that year, I would have been drafted. I’m not sure what I would have done. Fortunately, I was not eligible until 1972, after I graduated. By then, things in Viet Nam were winding down enough that my number didn’t get called.
A lot of friends were not so lucky.