I didn’t know the 1969 lottery was announced on TV or the radio.  The next day we all went to a friend’s house and got the Atlanta Jounal to search for our birthdays.  When I got to the 300th birthday listed, I thought I must have missed my birthday of April 12th.  I started over and finally found my date of birth to be 346th on the list.  I thought my grandmother had a better chance of being drafted than I did.

When I received my draft letter, I learned I had been drafted in the last draft call under the old system of selecting men to be drafted.  To add insult to injury, I got drafted into the U. S. Marine Corps.  I stayed at Parris Island as permanent personnel except for my stint at Camp LeJuene for infantry training.  I found out the Marine Corps was drafting men during the 8 months from about September 1969 to April 1970.  Moreover, I saw the record books of each Marine that was assigned to Administration Company in Parris Island and virtually all were college graduates.  The only ones who were not at least college graduates were a person that had one more quarter to go to be a college graduate and another Marine that had an exceedingly high score on his IQ test.  If selecting college graduates to draft into the Marine Corps is not discrimination, I don’t know what is. Being drafted into the Marine Corps changed my life.  And not for the better.  

I found out that the late show host David Letterman has the same birthday as me, April 12, 1947 that was 346 on the draft list.  I wonder what did David Letterman do about the draft under the lottery held in 1969?

[Ed. note: According to Wikipedia, Letterman was called for an Army physical, which he passed, but was not drafted due to his high lottery number.]