I didn’t get to see my number till the Sunday morning following the lottery due to my being in about the sixth week of basic at Ft. Campbell, KY. Our BCT Company (B-10-2) was limited to Company area, but on those Sunday mornings, a couple sons of non-coms would peddle the Sunday Nashville paper  to make a few bucks and we would buy a couple collectively.  I remember well the various groups gathered on barracks steps, all looking over shoulders at the lottery matrix to see where we individually fell.  As one can imagine, grins and groans were the order of the day.  The Company was a mix of enlistees (RA), enlisted reserves (ER), national guard (NG) and draftees (US) with me personally being of the latter.

Seeing my number 232, I could only wonder how my life would have been different had I flunked but one college course and thereby managed to delay graduation by one semester.  Obviously, that wasn’t to be and although I saw both good and bad times (a full tour in Long Binh included), it’s the good people that I crossed paths with that leaves me with no regrets and some quality memories.  Add to that not having to deal with inner guilt of wondering what happened to the one who went in your place has made me look back at those two years with both inner and external pride.  Like many, I’ve got a friend on the Wall (Panel 9E, Line 63) but in the end, we did our part.