I graduated from UK in 1969 and accepted a position with Saginaw Steering Gear Division of General Motors. But then I was drafted in the last group prior to the lottery of December 1969, volunteered for Officer Candidate School before my November 10 reporting date, and was granted a four-month delayed entry. This might have saved my life, because shortly after I entered Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood the Army knew the Viet Nam war would be winding down soon.
One day Major Tagg, our Batallion Commander, instructed all Officer Candidate School recruits to stay after the others had been released after dinner. He told us that the Army had accepted 3,000 folks like us, and that we would be going to Ft. Benning, GA for Infantry OCS (almost a certain assignment to Viet Nam). However, if we would voluntarily release the Army from its committment, we would assigned anywhere in the world we chose, and have our three year committment reduced to two years. He said the the Army estimated that 10% of the 3,000 would "drop out" (actually 90% droped out, including friends of mine who were in their last week of OCS). All six of us took the offer, and I chose an assignment in Finance, and chose Heildelberg, Germany (Finance Headquarters for Europe and Africa).
Many posts in Germany are headed by Captains, Majors, or Colonels. We had 17 Generals on post, and 1 in our building. What a dream assignment that turned out to be. One of my daily jobs was to distribute the value of the American Dollar against to the German Mark to all Military Finance Posts world-wide (is was about 3.25 Marks/Dollare then).
I was prepared to go to Viet Nam, fight, and be wounded or killed like so many of my brethren, but feel like the luckiest man in the world to have had the experience I did.
I have the greatest respect and admiration to those who did go to Viet Nam and pay the ultimate price for freedom, may they rest in peace, and may we never forget the sacrifice they made for us.