I was in first year at UK Law School on Dec 1, 1969. The draft lottery did not affect me. When I graduated from undergraduate school at UK with a political science BA in May 1969, I was also sworn in as a 2d Lt in the U.S. Army as an ROTC graduate. I received my law school delay from active duty shortly thereafter. As long as I attended law school as a full time student and earned passing grades my delay continued.
What I remember most about the December 1, 1969 lottery was the next morning when I came into the student locker area at the law school. Two of the other ROTC graduates were already there and were surrounded by anxious fellow law students who had not gone the ROTC route and whose lottery numbers were low. One of my fellow ROTC grads was the son of the head of the Army ROTC at UK. He got most of the attention. I am the son of a career Army JAGC Officer who at that time was a Lt. Col. in the Army JAG Corps and a military judge. I got my share of inquiries from the near panic-stricken fellow law students who were very frightened at the prospect of being drafted. Several asked if they could sign up for ROTC as law students (NO!). Others wanted to know about the National Guard (none of us knew much about it); and a couple said they were looking into "escaping" to Canada. I remember a couple of the fellow students either enlisted or were drafted following the lottery.
After I graduated from UK Law School with my Juris Doctor in May 1972, I passed the Kentucky bar exam and was sworn in to the KY Bar Association in mid September 1972. I left Lexington that night in my 1965 Mustang convertible and drove to Fort Gordon, GA near Augusta and the next day was sworn in as a JAGC Captain. I served 4 years, the first two on Okinawa, Japan where I learned to be a trial lawyer. The second half my active duty obligation I was assigned to Atlanta, GA as the Staff Judge Advocate for Army CID 3rd Region. During that time I passed the Georgia Bar Exam, and was sworn into the Georgia Bar Association. After I left active duty in September 1976 I hung out my shingle. I have been in private practice of law ever since in the Metro Atlanta area.
My most poignant memory of the draft involves a fellow who refused to report for induction in 1966 I believe. He had been a UK graduate student or a recent UK grad. He did not claim religious or physical deferment. He was a true conscientious objector. He was tried in Federal Court and was convicted of illegally dodging the draft. I met him at work while his case was on appeal. I was an undergraduate senior at the time.
We had some interesting discussions about our differing opinions on the Vietnam War, the draft, conscientious objector status, and what he hoped to accomplish by his refusal of his draft obligation. Obviously, we disagreed on many of these issues. However, he did not run away to Canada or Sweden. And when his appeals were exhausted he reported to Federal prison to serve his sentence. This man sacrificed himself in his protest of the Vietnam War and the draft. He believed in the American judicial system and was willing to challenge the constitutionality of the draft, and upon losing he did his time. To me that man is as much a patriot as any of us who served in uniform.