I was in my fifth year of college when the first draft lottery occurred in December, 1969. I followed the lottery on local television in Toledo. There was no continuous coverage, just a few numbers mentioned at commercial breaks. So it wasn’t until the 11 p.m. news that I found my number was 207.

The next day, in the local paper, a general stated that almost all the numbers would be called. This seemed possible when the Selective Service reached number 180 in July, 1970. But in August, they stopped at 195. Also, the Selective Service decided not to count those college classes taken before a student reached the draft age of 19 years old, which could allow a fifth year of student deferment to those who started college at 18

I supported the war, but I did not want to serve in the military. There were too many contradictions in the system. Local draft boards could have different rules, and deferments seemed arbitrary.