I was sitting in the Engineering building, alone, next to a wall, doing homework. The lottery was being broadcast on TV and I was watching when my birthday and number were called. I had heard them say that probably no one with a number above 140 would be drafted. My number was 319.
I felt like someone was going around the room, walking up to people saying "you might die" or "you get to live", and I fell into the latter group. I had given no thought to what I would do if I had gotten a low number. I knew I was OK for the next couple of years while at UK with a II-S classification but now I was safe forever.
I did not know anyone who wanted to go to Vietnam. People with low numbers were talking about going to Canada or joining the National Guard. These were engineering students – good students with drive and ambition. They were having their future determined by a lottery – not exactly their American dream.