I was finally drafted in December 1969 after graduating from UGA and trying unsuccessfully for several deferments and also to get into the Reserves. Mine was the last group to go prior to the lottery but when my lucky number turned out to be 13 I knew there was nothing else to do.
I was inducted in the beautiful facility on Ponce DeLeon and sent to Ft. Knox, KY for the coldest winter of my life. Being from a middle class family I had never been around many inner city people, ex-convicts (several were with me that decided to join the army rather than go to jail), etc. I quickly learned that people are people and I could get along with almost anyone. Being 22 at the time and a little older did not hurt either.
After basic I was assigned to Ft. Benning, Ga. where my wife and i spent a year. Then came that wonderful morning when I was told that I had been levied for Viet Nam. I practiced with my weapon, got all of my shots and was issued my green underwear and sent to Ft. Dix, NJ for processing. This was 1971. While I was pulling KP they started assigning us to airplanes for transportation to ‘Nam and suddenly we were told to turn in our gear as we were going to Germany because President Nixon was reducing the troop count.
So I ended up in Frankfurt, Germany and as luck would have it I ran into a man I had graduated with and we ended up rooming together. I got an early drop to go back to school and was separated from service in August 1971. I would not trade the experience for anything because it taught me how to live and work with all kinds of people that I would have never encountered.