What I remember about that time was that the law seemed to change every year. When I started at UNC in 1965, being in school was all you needed for an exemption. Later in ’66 or ’67 I recall going to Greensboro to take a written exam to allow me to maintain my exemption.
The talk about a lottery began (as I remember) in 1968 and it was about then that I applied for entry in to the NCNG (North Carolina National Guard). I was advised the waiting list was long and I should not anticipate being called until sometime in 1969 or even 1970. It stands out clearly in my mind at the time, that my Father, who had served in France in WWII, said, "Son, that thing over there is mess and if I were you I would do whatever I could to stay out of it."
I graduated in late May ’69 and was lucky enough to find a company hiring regardless of draft status. I got a promotion in August and a transfer to an operation they had in Richmond, Virginia. It was about then I heard that one of my best high school buddies had gone to Canada to avoid the draft. He would remain there until Carter declared an amnesty in the late ’70’s.
In November I received word from the NCNG they had an opening but that I needed to take it in the next seven days or be dropped back to the bottom of the waiting list. Now I was faced with the ultimate gamble. On the eve, virtually, of the first draft, did I take my chances or not? I chose not to do so and gave the NCNG the next six years of my life, albeit on a part time basis. Time would confirm my correct choice as my draft number was 183 and the numbers in 1970 went to 195.
In retrospect I don’t regret taking the action I took. It was a middle of the road route that kept me within the law, let me serve in some way and, at the same time, kept me away from a war I not so much protested, but just didn’t understand.