Oh man! My number is 190, and the cut-off lottery number will be 180-200. Should I enlist in the navy or AF and apply to officer candidate school? Or risk being a army pvt. destined for the jungles of Vietnam? So, I go down to the AF recruiting office where I’m a no-go as an officer because of my eyesight. No such problem for the navy, and I’m in. But that’s only the beginning.
The lottery went up to 195, and my draft notice from the Army came four days after I was sworn as a Navy enlisted, my application for OCS still pending. In the end, my OCS appointment came through, and I spent 16 wonderful weeks in Newport, RI leaning to be a Naval Reserve officer.
Despite being told that there were absolutely no shore billets, I applied for shore duty near Washington, D.C. using my Computer Science degree as bait, and got it. My wife and I spent the next three years in DC area, where I wore my naval uniform once a week and spent most my days writing software programs on some really fast computers.
I sometime think about alternative lives we might have led if a different number had come up back in ’69.