Like many others, my father and uncles served in WW II. We grew up watching TV shows and movies that glorified military service, in which the good guys always won. A friend of mine and I had planned to join the Marines under the buddy system (actually false advertising), after high school school graduation in 1969. Unfortunately, he was unfairly expelled from HS prior to graduation, and couldn’t wait to enlist. He was considerably more gung-ho than I, but after he was in Vietnam his stories and attitude changed my desire to enlist.
I graduated high school in 1969, was classified I-A, never accepted an educational deferment and intended to serve if drafted. Because of this attitude I really didn’t pay much attention to the draft lottery. Even though some would say I won the lottery, I still regret and feel guilty that I didn’t serve. Many honorable men and women served in Vietnam, and in many other military actions between then and the present, and I feel that regardless of the cause I would have been proud to serve with them. For those who paid with their lives, damaged bodies and minds, I will always have the highest respect!