239 was the number that saved my life. That "luck of the draw" kept me from going over to Vietnam to fight in some useless war based on the lie known as the "domino theory".
The "Domino Theory" was to Vietnam as "WMD" was to the Iraq war. It was a lie generated by the government and the military industrial complex to put the USA into a war we should have NEVER initiated. Note that after the US left Vietnam, the "Domino Theory" did not come to fruition–it was only a lie.
Like a lot of UGA students, I went to a junior college for the first 2 years
of school. I attended Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Georgia. On the
night of the lottery there was a LOT of interest in the boys dormitories, as
you could imagine.
All the boys in my dorm were in the recreation room to watch the lottery. I
don’t remember the first date pulled from the barrel, but there was a guy
seated on the same sofa as me that had the "luck" of being No. 1. He said
"shit", went to his room, packed up his belongings, drove home that night
and enlisted in the Army the next day. He died in Vietnam.
The conventional wisdom was if you were in the first 60 dates pulled from
the barrel, you were going to Vietnam. If you were in the group of dates
that made up numbers 61 to 120, you were probably going to Vietnam. If you were in the group of dates that were pulled 121 to 180, you might go to Vietnam. IF you made it to 181 or higher, you were NOT going to Vietnam.
There was palpable tension in the room at each break in the numbers. Lots
of tension up to 60, a little less tension up to 120, even less tension up
to 180. After 180 the mood was ebullient. We were the lucky ones. We
actually won this lottery.
239 meant that I did not have to go to basic training. 239 meant I did not
have to go to Vietnam. 239 meant I did not get shot at. 239 meant I did
not have to kill anyone. 239 allowed me to go into the entertainment
business and rise to being the President of 3 major recording companies,
Chrysalis, Island and Mercury. 239 means that I don’t suffer from PTSD.
239 saved my life.
58,282 Americans died in Vietnam. They did not have the luck of pulling
number 239 in the lottery.