While I am not a complete pacifist, I knew I would never serve in Vietnam. While I honor those who believed and sacrificed in that war, I wasn’t one of them. I considered the war wrong, immoral, and knew I would never fight if they dragged me there. I considered immigrating to Canada, but my wife said she would never move that far from her parents. That said, I was also willing to go to prison, if necessary.

Still, my double major in college was psychology and religion. This was a state school which treated religion as a social science, not as lessons in what to believe. Nevertheless, that qualified me for tuition-free admission in one of my church’s seminaries, and another draft deferment.

A miserable decision! I had a choice between the traditional (think eighteenth century) curriculum and the revised curriculum, where students literally held periodic orgies. I didn’t fit either place, but at least it was better than prison.

Then the lottery: I drew 257 that night – one of the most freeing events of my life!

The next day I wrote to the school that I would be leaving at the end of the semester and another letter to my mother that I would try to return to my native state and give her a grandchild.

I only found work in an adjacent state, but did produce the grandchild, who today is simply brilliant.

How lucky I was, how unfortunate so many others were, just because of the luck of the draw!