I remember vividly the draft lottery that took place during those years immediately after graduating from UK. I had several draft designations on my selective service card during that time. I started with a II-S as a student, then went into a I-A for a while, then a III-A due to the fact that I was married and had a child (even before graduating from UK). Those times were so very turbulent and the thought in the back of my mind was constantly one of dread in going off to the military, leaving my family, and possibly dying in a war in which I did not believe . My father was a Colonel in the Army, and my older brother who was in the ROTC at UK was headed to Vietnam.

When the lottery was announced, it seemed unbelievably ridiculous that lawmakers had the power to decide who would die based on the date of their birth. My first cousin received a low lottery number and immediately signed up for the army to avoid being drafted. I remember well watching that lottery on our small portable TV. With each birthday chosen and with each random number called out, I breathed a sigh of relief. I finally received the lottery number of 155. After the drawing, the number of draftees needed each month was announced on the news. My reaction was to basically trust my fate to God without making my fears known to my wife.

That year, the final number chosen by the end of December was somewhere around 120 so I was "safe" for another year. As the next year wore on, the war was winding down and fewer draftees were needed. My first cousin did his military time at an installation in Michigan so never had to go overseas. My brother fared less well, having to serve a tour in Vietnam with injuries, physical and psychological.