We were all gathered in the TV room of Kirwan Tower on the University of Kentucky campus to watch the draft lottery. A roommate drew a number in the low 30s, and soon joined ROTC to stay at UK. My number was 171, right in the middle range. At the time I was a writer and editor at the Kentucky Kernel, the school newspaper where we were usually writing opinion columns against the war.

As I neared graduation, I checked with my draft board to see where things stood. The spokesman there said they probably would not be drafting any more, but he was not certain. I asked him what number they were at, and he told me they were holding at number 170! I was never called up, and missed the Vietnam draft by a single number. I graduated from UK in journalism in 1972 and went on to be a newspaper journalist for my entire career.