When I turned 18, I lived with my family in Nashville, Tennesee; therefore that’s where my draft board was.  By the time the lottery system was in place, I had decided that, even though I opposed the war, I would not resist the draft.  This was equal parts idealism (if I successfully avoided the draft, someone less priviledged would be sent in my place); pragmatism (I was by then in law school and "draft dodger" hardly seemed a resume enhancer); and good old Scotch-Irish Presbyterian upbringing (no lying, cheating, stealing, or avoiding responsibililty).  I don’t remember my draft number, but I was within target range.

When the notice to appear for my physical arrived at my parents’ home in Nashville, I was a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill and alerted my draft board that I could not make my appointment in Nashville.  They obliged with a revised notice to appear in Chapel Hill.  By then, alas, I had moved on to Cambridge, Massachusetts and Harvard Law School.  Again I demurred; and again I was obliged with a notice to appear in Cambridge, which I did.  The scene at the recruitment center in Cambridge Massachusetts in the fall of 1969 was right out of Born on the 4th of July.  Surely the recruiters were getting hazardous duty pay.  At the end of the process, I remember there were 13 people in my group and everyone except me had a dossier presenting his case for why he should not be drafted.

I went back to my apartment and waited.  When my notice arrived, I had been classified 1-Y, a classification for registrants with limiting but not disabling medical conditions.  When 1-Y was discontinued in 1971, it is my understanding that everyone in that category was reclassified 4-F.  I never asked why I was classifed 1-Y and never knew.  The only thing I can imagine is poor eyesight, but that never limited anything else I wanted to do.

I’ve always assumed I would have been drafted from Nashville or Chapel Hill, but that the draft board just figured those Cambridge protesters were more trouble than they were worth.  So thanks to all the protesters around me in Cambridge that day. I’ve gone on with my life, conscience relatively clean.  If I ever run for President, no one can say I dodged the draft.