I was in the infamous 1969 lottery during my first senior year at NC State.  My birth month was January and I ended up with a very high lottery number. But in the spring of 1967 I had signed the Army ROTC contract, so my draft lottery number didn’t matter. I graduated and was commissioned in May of 1970.  Prior to being commissioned, I completed my assignment "dream sheet" essentially requesting immediate active duty.  Ten days after I sent the request in, I received a letter assigning me to the Army Reserves in Field Artillery. 

Just before Thanksgiving 1967 I had been involved in a motorcycle accident and had a severe skull fracture.  When I returned to State in January 1968 I took a medical drop on two courses resulting in me being below full-time student status.  My draft board attempted to draft me, but the Army used the ROTC contract, and the fact that I had registered for 18 hours for the spring semester, to stop the attempt.  After graduation, I received a draft notice, which I ignored until the letters got nasty.  I was already in the service and under orders.  It took a month or so to straighten that out.  The accident and the medical drop put me on a course sequence to graduate in 4 years and added a year to my undergraduate time.  Eventually I spent another 5 years at State and was awarded a Masters and Doctorate in Chemistry.

I never intended to remain in the Reserves past my obligation but found I liked the Reserves.  I stayed in until 1996, serving in Reserve units in North Carolina, Louisiana and Indiana and had the privilege of commanding an Artillery Battalion.  In 1996, 26 years after I was commissioned, as part of the Clinton "Peace Dividend" I accepted an early retirement offer.

The only drawing for which I’ve ever held a winning ticket was that motorcycle.  It certainly had a long affect on my life.