I had considered dropping out of college and enlisting, but instead joined the USMC PLC program (less school year but more summer commitment than ROTC) in October of ’66. Since I had the student deferment I didn’t see the reserve deferment as an escape, and fully expected to go to ‘Nam upon graduation.
I tore up a knee playing soccer for "Durham" (NCAA dodge the schools were using) in the spring of ’67 and couldn’t go to Marine camp that summer. The Marines said I could do two sessions the next summer. Not being at all motivated as a student, by spring ’68 it was clear I needed a different major if I hoped to graduate on time, and that would require summer school instead of Marine camp. I was given a honorable discharge as an E-1 and my draft status reverted to I-A. Got back my student deferment and eked out a diploma.
I was married and had a job coaching and teaching when the lottery was held. My wife and our families were very concerned about it, but I really didn’t care. They had guilt-tripped me into not volunteering again, but I had a student whose father was missing in ‘Nam at the time and I thought it made more sense for me to be there than for guys with kids. A low number would solve the problem. But I got a 256 and my wife and our mothers were on the phone all evening as to what that meant. To this day I have guilt that I did not go.
The other disappointment with the lottery was that my much younger brother’s birthday was 9/14 but he was not yet 18. He had been a pain in my ass growing up. I called and told him he was No. 1 from then on and as soon as he turned 18 he’d be on his way. Scared the hell out of him for a couple of days. We had different values.