Do I remember that night? Hell YEAH. 358!!
I was on the Technician school newspaper staff and they had a teletype machine. They started the lottery on the radio but quit after ten numbers. As I was driving over to the office I heard, blah blah 24. My birthday is June 24. I thought I was dead. It turned out to be April 24, so I was still alive.
After the teletype got past 300, everyone who wasn’t called yet was pretty damn excited. Then the teletype would clang clang, and ring, and over it would come. Correction, September 2 not 198, but March 2 is 198. Well, that did not sit well with everyone. You weren’t sure if the damn teletype was going to reclaim your ass with a correction, but in my case it didn’t. I had been in AFROTC (remember we all had to take that or Army). If I had gotten a low number, my plan was to go to grad school and finish ROTC, then go in as an officer. I am color blind so I couldn’t fly or be a navigator.
On the other note, the lowest number of anyone I knew was 3, until Nifong, the former DA in Durham. He was a loser even then–he got number ONE!
It was a great night to drink, either you were going to Nam or you weren’t. The only ones I felt sorry for were the guys with numbers from 160 to 200. They didn’t know what to do.
Thank you DICK NIXON!