I recall much conversation in 1969 amongst my peers regarding the upcoming draft lottery and our imminent loss of college deferment status. Various options, including migration to Canada were discussed. Two friends and I went so far as to make a week-long trip to Quebec and vicinity to explore that option.

I graduated college in July 1969 and moved back home to New Jersey; two weeks later I got my letter to report for my physical. Fortunately for me my eyesight put me in I-Y status. Unfortunately for my high school friends who also went to college, not all were as lucky as me and not all came home after their tours.

Forty years later I wonder if my plan to avoid service was cowardly. At the time it seemed like preservation of my own life took priority over my desire to serve my country. I think I rationalized this by buying into the ‘Vietnam war was immoral’ position, and that it was in the best interest of only the military/industrial factions. What I didn’t appreciate was that most of the military, prior to the lottery, were guys that didn’t have the money to go to college. Also I wonder if my eyes had been better, would I have fled to Canada? Another of life’s mysteries I’ll never know the answer to.