I was to get my B.Sc. degree from KU in May 1970, and planned to be married that same month. My wife and I would then be off to Scotland for graduate school in Aberdeen in August 1970. I had received a Direct Exchange Scholarship from KU to attend school in a UK university for one year.
But in the draft lottery of 1969 I drew a low number:127. I was also losing my student deferral status. Sure enough, I was called up for a physical in February 1970 in Kansas City. If I passed the physical the wedding plans would be off as well as the scholarship studies in Scotland.
I’d had knee surgery during my sophomore year in high school (with two large scars to prove it). The knee had continued to give me trouble on and off since then. I asked my physician father what I should do. It was his advice to just go do it, and if I passed and went to basic training the knee pain might get me discharged. But that would still mean the wedding and graduate school were off.
So, I reported for the physical. The first doctor passed me. I complained pretty loudly, pointed out the capsule on one of the scars, and asked for another doctor to take a look. This time I was given a I-H deferral.
The deferral meant I wasn’t going in the army, that I could get married and spend the first year of married life with my bride Elaine (now of 44 years) in Aberdeen.
We think of Aberdeen as a kind of second home. We still maintain contact with people we met there in 1970-71. I received a First Class Certificate of Merit and a Second Class Certificate and now I can put Dip.Ed. behind my name. We spent the Christmas holidays in 1970 on the continent. We toured all around England and Scotland and have memories that would never have been made if I had passed the physical.