I was a silent Vietnam war protestor.  With my low number I was resigned to the fact I’d be toting a rifle in the Vietnam rice paddies in 1970.  When I was required to report in the Spring of 1970 for the induction physical at my draft board in Doylestown, it turned out to be a bus load of mostly college seniors/graduates. We were taken to a Broad street location in Philadelphia. I was mostly scared.  My blood pressure reading was high. I nearly fainted when they drew blood although I tried to be tough but the technician spotted the signs and told me to LIE DOWN NOW.  Later in meeting with physician he took BP again in each arm… still high.  I mentioned my applying to med school. Not sure it influenced him, but he gave me a letter that I needed to get BP checked twice a day for 3 days either there at the induction center or by my own physician. I chose the own physician option, although I didn’t really have one.  I chewed a lot of licorice and sort of hyperventilated in the waiting room to will my BP high.  Once the Doc thought my pulse was kind of rapid.  But results were high and I got 1-Y deferment. Funny thing was at least half of the bus load of seniors flunked the physical.  I always suspected the Army had established very high standards at that point in time.

I decided against Med school and started grad school in environmental health sciences and wound up working for EPA for 31 years after 2 years of civilian employment with the Navy. Several colleagues at EPA were Vietnam vets. I’ve always felt I was lucky to avoid the draft, but a slight tinge of survivor’s guilt remains.