The draft lottery changed my life.  In 1969 I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and took a teaching job, mainly because it offered an occupational deferral.  But teaching was not my ambition and I needed some career focus.  The draft lottery gave me the opportunity to get that focus.  When the lottery numbers were released in December, I was one of the lucky folks.  My number was 309.  I don’t remember needing to communicate with the draft board in Upstate New York.  I assume they got the news as I recall it was based on your birthdate.

Within a few weeks I resigned from the Ruffin High School in Rockingham County, N.C. and contacted the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to see if I could enroll as a "special student".  In that era, Carolina allowed recent graduates to return for additional undergraduate courses.  It was a real gift.  I was more focused, intent on figuring out what I would do.  I stayed at Carolina for 3 more semesters of undergrad work and entered Public Health graduate school in the summer of 1971.  Seven years later I returned to Carolina for my public health Ph.D.  I might have gotten there anyway, but the lottery lit the fuse in 1969.