How did the draft lottery affect the choices I made in my life? Wow!
Well, rather than graduate in Nuclear Engineering as planned in May, 1970, get married on June 6 and move to Charleston, SC, to live, raise a family and work at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, I …
1. Got a low enough lottery number to have been summoned for and received my Army physical before graduation;
2. As a back up plan, took the Air Force tests and physical to go to pilot training;
3. Graduated as planned;
4. Got married as planned;
5. Went to work at CNS as planned;
6. Shortly received my 30 day notice to report for Army duty;
7. Was offered a slot in the SC National Guard as a result of having some strings pulled by another employee at CNS who was a high ranking officer in the Guard;
8. After much soul searching, discussion and prayer by my wife and me, joined the Air Force in late July;
9. Became a fighter pilot (F-4s), flying 58 combat missions near the end of the Vietnam war;
10. After about 5 years of active duty, took an early out from the Air Force and returned home from Thailand to a pregnant wife and no job;
11. Was blessed by a really great law, previously unknown to me, that required CNS to give me my old job back with benefits, which happened about a month before my son was born;
12. Opted to go to law school about a year later, and I’ve been blessed with a rewarding career in private practice since 1979, the year my daughter was born.
I don’t know about the road untraveled, but the road traveled was quite a ride. Looking back, I would not change a thing and risk not being right where I am in my life.