I vividly remember the day of the lottery. All of my close college friends gathered in one room to watch. I was the first number drawn from our group at 040. The next highest number for those in the room was in the 90s. It was ironic that we were the only two with steady girlfriends.

I never had much objection to being drafted. I had a student deferral and assumed I would serve when I graduated. I wanted to finish college and go on to OCS. But the lottery made the whole thing seem unfair. Of the seven people in that room, only two of us came under the pressure of the draft. My roomate was in the 300s. No one wanted to go, but there were no draft dodgers among us. I still think it was a bad way to choose. If there is a draft, it should include everyone.

When I graduated in 1971 I tried to join the Air Force but they rejected me due to high blood pressure. I had to wait around until I was called for my pre-induction physical to be rejected by the Army, when I was classified I-Y. Returning to Charleston from Columbia I was more relieved than ever in my life. For me it was over, but as one of the few on the bus who didn’t have to come back in 30 days to be inducted, I kept a somber face so as not to antagonize the guys who did.