I felt relatively comfortable with 204 until I received my "Pre-Induction" notice to report for the physical examination (PE). Impending doom fell over me, for I then believed that the Selective Service forecasters presumed I would be drafted. I had 100 percent hearing loss in my left ear, and my physician all but reassured me that that disability would save me from being drafted. He armed me with several copies of my hearing impairment document, just in case I lost one or if the PE location in Detroit misplaced a copy. So, after I was herded through the many PE stations throughout this depressing ordeal, I finally arrived at the last station where they determined if I was fit. I handed the "determinator" the wet document and said, "I’m completely deaf in one ear." He looked at the document and sternly said, "Well, you can hear out of the other ear, right?" 1-A was stamped onto my forehead.
Throughout the year, my hometown newspaper published the called-up lottery number in a little black box (coffin?) on the front page. Sometimes the numbers would jump exceeding fast, several at a time; sometimes joyously slow, no change for weeks. Still, though, it created a foreboding, and I was waiting for a big push at the end of 1970. It didn’t happen. I considered myself lucky. Everyone of my high school friends came back wounded, either physically or emotionally. (One did not come back.) Under different circumstances, had this been a "good war," I would have gladly enlisted. But, I saw absolutely no strategy or commitment beyond 1970. Vietnamization of the war was taking place, we were fighting in Laos and Cambodia, troops were pulling out, and general sentiment for the war was at an all-time low. I honor those who went and will always remember those who died and were wounded.