What I remember most was my number: 280. It meant I was safe and would not get drafted. I knew a couple of guys who had low numbers and just walked around numb. We all knew we didn’t want to go, but it would be years before I realized how much Vietnam changed so many of the people who did go. Yes, there are many people who came through it OK, but to this day you recognize the many who did not.

My high number allowed me to take a year off without fear of being drafted, and find out what I really wanted. I came back and graduated in January 1971.

How has it affected my life choices? It certainly strengthened my sense that war is pointless for the most part, and that the costs are much higher than the gains. Might does not make right, that’s how it affected me.