The years 1968 and 1969 produced a great deal of anxiety for my wife and for me. During 1969 I passed my physical, was classified I-A and held a student deferment to complete my Master’s degree in medical entomology. I thought the war made no sense, but I was prepared to serve if called. My best friend enlisted in the Marine Corps and my older brother enlisted in the Air Force, but he was rejected because of injuries from an accident. Several cousins and most of my uncles had served in the military.
Rather than wait to be drafted I applied for a direct commission in the Army Medical Service Corps and I expected to serve as an entomologist. Also I applied for a civil service position as an entomologist with the US Navy. An Army recruiter visited me at NCSU and told me that I qualified, but that I would have to re-apply because the Army couldn’t find all parts of my application. He told me to enter boot camp and that the Army would then send me to OCS. Sure!
The Navy offered me the civil service position and a deferment as an entomologist and I went to work for them for seven years helping to maintain good sanitation and disease prevention at 100 Navy installations.
In December 1969 I drew number 345 and my wife and I felt greatly relieved.