What’s Your Number? The Vietnam War Selective Service Lottery

By Vietnam magazine
11/25/2009 • Vietnam Extra

(Selective Service Archive)
(Selective Service Archive)

During the Vietnam War, young men gathered in college dorms and friends’ homes to listen to live TV and radio broadcasts of the U.S. Selective Service System drawing lottery numbers to determine who would and would not be drafted. The 2010 issue of Vietnam magazine revisits those days in the article, “Live from Washington, It’s Lottery Night 1969!!”

366 blue plastic capsules contained the birthdays that would be chosen in the first Vietnam draft lottery drawing on December 1, 1969. The first birth date drawn that night, assigned the lowest number, “001,” was September 14.

How would YOU have done?

Find your birthday in the chart below to see what order you would have been called to service.

How did Prominent Figures do?

Oliver Stone: 113, September 15, 1946

Pat Sajak: 007, October 26, 1946

Bruce Springsteen: 119, September 23, 1949

Sylvester Stallone: 327, July 6, 1946

Samuel Alito: 032, April 1, 1950

Clarence Thomas: 109, June 23, 1948

Dan Quayle: 210, February 4, 1947

Al Gore: 030, March 31, 1948

Bill Clinton: 311, August 19, 1946

George W. Bush: 327, July 6, 1946

Billy Crystal: 354, March 14, 1947

David Letterman: 346, April 12, 1947

Tom Daschle: 043, December 9, 1947

Howard Dean: 143, December 17, 1948

Tom DeLay: 312, April 8, 1947

Jay Leno: 223, April 28, 1950

Rudy Giuliani: 308, May 28, 1944

Stephen King: 204, September 21, 1947

Donald Trump: 356, June 14, 1946

OJ Simpson: 277, July 9, 1947

Bill Murray: 204, September 21, 1950

*Some in this list, who were already serving and whose draft status had been resolved, were not affected by the draft lottery. Otherwise, every male aged 19 to 26 had a stake in the 1970 draft lottery, as it determined the order in which men with birth dates between 1944 and 1950 were called to report for induction in 1970. Some on the above list were already serving, received student or medical deferments, volunteered for other service, or for various other reasons were not drafted in 1970.

330 Responses to What’s Your Number? The Vietnam War Selective Service Lottery

  1. Tommie Stallings says:

    Got drafted in 1970

    • Ken says:

      Don’t know. In December, 1969, I had just completed Navy flight training and was on my way to my first squadron and Vietnam.

      • Azure says:

        Thanks for your service, Ken. It brings back so many memories. Had I been a male, my number would have been 101, & I would have just turned 19 that year! Not so great, huh?

    • Rob says:

      I’m 33 right now, I looked up my birthday and month and got the number 273. What do those numbers and the numbers in red next to the names mean? Would I have been drafted?

      • Dan says:

        With 273 you would have been safe. I think they reached 195. I was 19 and my number was in the single digits. I had bad eyes, feet, allergies and high blood pressure. After many doctors checked me out over 6 months I was classified 4F. I asked a Sergent exactly what that meant and he stared at me and said “Son, they’ll take women and children before you!”

  2. John Chalus 359 says:

    I was a volunteer. I enlisted in the US Navy while still in my senior year in high school. I graduated in 1969. I became a Navy SEAL and did a deployment to RVN in 1971. I am proud of my service and of having the honor of serving my country as a SEAL.

  3. Scott L Powell says:

    I was a volunteer. I was number 11! I immediately went down and enlisted prior to graduating from high school. I enlisted in the Navy and served two tours in ‘Nam and retired as a Chief Petty Officer in’91.

  4. Dennis M. Rog says:

    After high school I immediately enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I would
    have enlisted regardless even if there was no war because my father
    and my uncles were in WW2 and I personally felt that it was my duty
    to serve. I was in from 1969 to 1973 received an Honorable Discharge
    and one of the best benefits I received was that I was able to attend
    college on the G.I. Bill. I am proud of my service and would do it again.

  5. Harry G. Reeder says:

    As it was, I was a 20 year old just working and hanging out in 1968 so I got drafted in February.
    If I would have made it through most of 69, my December birthday would have pretty much sealed my fate anyway.
    I served 2 years as a draftee in the Army, served in the Nam, and received an Honerable Discharge.
    I wouldn’t have necessairly wished it on anyone else, but it was a life’s experience that I can still pass on.

  6. Ron Buchnat says:

    I enlisted in the Navy in 1963 and after “A” School and flight school training with VP-31, I received orders to VP-4. My squadron participated in Operation Market Time in 1965 and again in 1967. If I didn’t enlist and waited for the draft, my number would have been 113. I enjoyed my four years of service and would do it all over again.

  7. SFC Howard C Hudson (Ret) says:

    My number was 005. I was drafted in December of 1969 and went in in January of 1970. At the MEPS Station that day the told us the Marines were taking 20%. I went to Ft Lewis and the first thing I discovered was after you got that mighty fine haircut, how cold it was outside. Went to AIT at Ft Rucker and on to Vietnam, Republic of. Spent eighteen months at Long Thanh and Bearcat with side trips to Bien Tuy. I was with the 210th Avn Bn, the YO-3A Army-Lockheed Team and finally the Garrison Unit at Long Thanh. Came home to the world and got the hell out. Sixteen months later I came back in as a grunt and retired after twenty-two years. Would I do it again. Absolutely!

  8. chas b pfeiffer, sp4 says:

    drafted 12/63 enetered service 12-10-63 served 504th MP Co. Ft Eustis, Va Home of the Transportaion Corps. Never in country. Served 32 yrs Long Beach Policeisability retired. went thru Tiger Land with several co-workers who also continued their service with their country,

    • Azure says:

      My son just retired from the Marines this year, 2015. I certainly recall the draft craziness since I too graduated in 1969. Lucky for me, they didn’t draft women, cuz my number would have been 101. Yikes!

      Thanks for your service, SFC Hudson! ♡

  9. Michael LaLone says:

    Graduated from high school in 1968, joined the Marine Corps immediately. Never had a draft card until I was discharged in ’74. Radio Operator/Viet. Language Specialist, in country w/ the 3rd Mar Div in Sept 69, fortunate to be pulled back to Okinawa in November. 3 years active service, damn proud of it. 27 yrs Natl Park Ranger in emergency services, now retired.

  10. Warner DeFord says:

    I knew I would be drafted when I reached the age to go and decided that I would dodge the draft by joining the Marine Corps in December 1967… I got to Vietnam in August 68 and was released from active duty with an early out in September 69…. When the draft lottery was drawn in January 1970 I was still 19 years old and my birthday was the 4th number drawn… I was successful at not being drafted.

    • Dr. Jerry says:

      Okay, you were successful at not being drafted but you ended up in Vietnam anyway, so what’s the point? If you’re intention was to avoid the war—which is normally why people wanted to avoid being drafted—then joining the Marine Corps was just about the worst possible way of accomplishing that goal. Marines were the first to be deployed over there into combat situations and they suffered a very high casualty rate.

      • Susan Shaw says:

        If you “joined” instead of being drafted, many times you got the job you wanted instead of the body they needed. The job put you either in or out of harms way….so to speak. And not everyone who joined were wanting to avoid the war. And being “one of the few” is still the best job in the world. Why would anyone want to be an Army of one?

      • kristie07 says:

        Seriously?1? Can you really be that cowardly Dr. Jerry??? I was born in 74 . . . my dad was too young to be drafted or join the military. He attempted to join USMC but, his mother refused to give him permission to drop out of school and join. However, I spent many years listening to my grandfathers accounts in Germany during WWII. I was raised to appreciate the service of all our US Vets for their sacrifice that has given me the freedom to post my opinions here!
        I am very proud to say that my family’s service also included 3 cousins who have served in Iraq; a great-great-great grandfather who served as a Union Officer during the Civil War and I believe multiple grandfathers who served in the Revolution and received land payments that brought my family to KY.
        THANK YOU Mr. DeFord and THANK YOU to all our service men and women, as well as their families who have sacrificed SO MUCH to ensure mine and my childrens’ freedom!!!

      • Mike Wilde says:

        I have nothing but respect for the brave men who served our country in Vietnam! I’m ashamed at the way our country treated returning soldiers! Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

      • SMSGT Y says:

        Thank you Captain Obvious

      • Bart says:

        Nice comment Dr. Jerry…NOT!!!!!

  11. Benjamin Parks says:

    I joined the Air Force while still in High School via the Delayed Enlistment program in 1966, my draft status after service indicated that I had already served. My number, 351 was wasted on me, I wish I could’ve traded it with some friend who had other plans.

    • Katie Nielsen says:

      I’m studying the Vietnam war in US History right now. we have to do a narration using certain terms. one of the terms is the draft. I was reading your comment to this post, and was had a question for you.you said that before you graduated, you signed up for the Air Force. When you were called, it ready said you had served when you hadn’t? thank you:)
      10th grader, IA

      • Jen says:

        I believe Mr. Parks was saying that his number was “wasted” on him because he had already gone and come back from Vietnam before the draft happened. So, he “avoided” the draft but he would have anyway because he had prior service.
        Thank you for your service Mr. Parks. I am a history teacher and former Navy Seabee. My dad was drafted in 1968. I usually keep my personal opinions out of the classroom, but I cannot help but note that it is one thing to be against war in general and quite another to be in a privileged situation to avoid being sent to war and then insulting those who are dying and do the dirty work to protect their right to protest wars in the first place.

  12. John Zoomie says:

    I was #330, knew I would not get drafted, but volunteered at the end of Vietnam anyway. I did not go over there, but worked with the incoming Vietnamese refugees. I never felt as if I ever served my country, quite the contrary, MY COUNTRY served me. Within my 20 year career I used tuition assistance and the GI Bill to net five college degrees and the skills to excel in this wonderful country to include my own business. God bless America, there is no place like it. Professor John, retired USAF.

    • Susan Shaw says:

      I too worked with the incoming refugees on Camp Pendleton, CA. Where did you do your work with them? I have never heard from someone who did what I did…

    • ed says:

      well i signed up for the draft when i had to ., they made me a 1 H ., that scared the hell out of me becaue i figured it was just a matter of time im 60 now and my number was 171 so i might have got picked. this guy told me i didnt get called up because i was an only child. i went to college when i was 17 . actually did better in college after i found a girl friend. her mom had been married 8 times. so my ex was married 3 or 4 . my daughter said all her stepfathrs were good to her. i met one of them and we actually got along . after i got to know him i didnt worry at all about my daughter.
      all those degrees you got was a wise move got all you could get. thanks for fighting for us in the states

  13. Mike Jett says:

    i wanted to be in the service. Tried to join the Navy and the Air Force, but flunked the physical. So when I came up number 11, I really thought the routine would be the same, but to my surprise, the same physical taken for the third time at the same place was okay for the army. Today marks the 41st anniversary of my induction. I will never forget the moment at the induction center when we were told to count off our number in line and the officer said all odd numbers go to the Marine Corps. I ended up in the 101st at Phu Bai working the AO that the Marines had just left. Forty years ago to the week we were in an operation that had us living in holes at Khe Sahn. Probably the worst days of my life, but I survived and went on to have three marriages, 7 children and 13 grand children. The funny thing is I probably would not be so blessed if I had not been called on that fateful night.

  14. Jimbo 256 says:

    The first commandment is “thou shalt not kill”. I never did accept the right of the government to force me to break that commandment.

    • rich says:

      Still go to church Jimbo or did you stop right after the draft.

    • Dan says:

      But you sure dont mind enjoying the freedoms that we have because of those who did step up to do the job.

    • Rich says:

      Correct and the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

      Interesting that Moses brought that commandment down and he and his followers then embarked on a military campaign to take land – and they did kill. Wonder how theologians reconcile that one.

    • Kerry says:

      My understanding of the original Bible commandment in Greek was “thou shalt not do murder”. Killing was justified depending on the circumstance.

    • Mark says:

      Thou shall not murder is way down the list dear bible thumper. You might read it some day. There are only 10 for God’s sake.

    • kristie07 says:

      The first commandment, Jimbo . . . REALLY? Everyone who has SACRIFICED to protect YOUR freedom can tell just how IMPORTANT religion is for you!
      Again, Thank you to all our BRAVE men and women who have served . . . to protect ALL our freedoms.

      • Dave says:

        I think I heard where the last WW I Vet died last year ….if he were in a WW I blog He would have had no one to argue with ….lol This will never be settled but, eventually there will be a last man standing here ….and he’ll have the final word but sadly he won’t have anyone to dispute his view of the war. This place opened up a whole can of worms …. I used to write about my thoughts and haven’t looked at them in years. Today I did.
        “Ever silent is the night
        of who was wrong and
        who was right,
        of who will go and who remains
        who now is chosen to hold me sway
        as dust to the wind cast lots o’er my soul
        and wonder not “for whom the bell tolls”
        for now is my time …… this night I must flee
        one day to be your time, “It will toll for thee”

    • Dennis says:

      A better English translation might be “Thou shalt not murder”, because if you had been caught murdering someone, the punishment was to be stoned to death. Notice also that Christ is referred to as “The Son of David”. Few people have killed more people than King David and his armies.

      Most will agree that war is truly an awful, terrible thing that causes incredible damage and should be the last resort. But once a war is undertaken, it must be fought to win. (Two years Army/four years National Guard, 1980’s)

  15. Jolyn says:

    I was drafted in the marines January 26 1970, but was not in country, guest i luck out, stay in the states, Treasure Island , SF.

  16. Shelly says:

    I was an 18-year-old female in 1969. If I had been a boy, I would most certainly have been called up due to my lottery number. My heart ached for all the young men who had to leave. I am deeply respectful and grateful to all of you who went for all of us at home. Every one of you is a hero!

  17. rich says:

    I was drafted in 1956, nothing to do with Vietnam Obviously.
    I served In Germany with the 7th Army Ernst Ludwig Kaserne.
    Darmstadt, Germany. 553rd F.A HQ Battery.
    My Father, Uncles, Brother, Son and a lot of good friends have all served in the Military. It builds Character. One of my Grandsons
    serves with The Navy at Lamoore Naval station in California. going
    on 7 years. Two tours of duty aboard Aircraft Carriers.

  18. rich says:

    Jimbo the First Commandment is I am the Lord thy God you shall not have any other God’s before me.

  19. Mike says:

    Trump graduated from college in May/June of 1968, so he would have been prime draft material from that date until Dec of 1969, when the first lottery was held. That’s a year and a half of unexplained “skating” for him. He should not be included in this article. He states his love for the country, yet never had the stones to serve it as some of us did. Would love to hear “the rest of the story.”

  20. Kelly says:

    I just wanted to say Thank You for all of those who fought for this country, and the people who live here. Because of you bravery, I am able to raise my daughter in freedom. I also want to thank the Men and Women who are fighting for our freedom today. You will always be our hero’s!

    • RG says:

      Thank You. It was very difficult coming back to some of the ungrateful.
      Vietnam 1970-71

    • Righteous Robert says:

      Kelly – Vietnam War was a FAKE war
      that had NOTHING to do with Freedom.
      We have NUKES like many other Nations.

      One thing about Americans
      They will NEVER protect their fellow Americans from Harm’s Way
      by an EVEL Government of LOSERS.
      All Americans will maybe stand up to other Countries
      but NOT their own Government.
      They will cowher and give in immedially to their STUPID Leaders.

      Vietnam was a FAKE war held for the
      Benefit of this Nation’s Economy
      nothing less – nothing more.

      The GOV of this Country successfully Genocided
      over 15,000,000 people
      over 10,000,000 Native American Indians
      probably about 3,000,000 blacks
      and over 2,000,000 Vietnamese
      Does that tell you what these people are about ?

      The Military Draft was SLAVERY Re-Visited.
      I enlisted because if I didn’t I would have ended up
      Dead in Vietnam killed by Cowards invading a Country
      like someone invading your House.

      By the way 90% of Women were Born a Coward
      and will Die a Coward because Courage has to be Earned
      and 75% of Everyone will Never Earn Courage in their Life.
      We were all raised by Coward Parents and Grandparents
      because like RAPE and Child Molestation
      Vietnam should have gotten at least a 90% Protest
      not a Lousy 10%.
      Stand Up against the GOV hurting your fellow Americans
      Presidents LBJ and Nixon should have faced MURDER Charges.
      Or at least have the word COWARD engraved on their Tombstone.

      Reparations for Vietnam Vets
      Righteous Robert
      Baltimore Bob

      • gp says:

        Righteous Robert, you have missed the point. For what ever reason, a bunch of us served our country. It could have been the Nam or Korea or the middle east or where ever. The point is, we served. I don’t believe I ever met a person that wanted to go to war. I met several who felt it was a duty or a way to give something back to our country. Notice I said our country and not our government. During the Nam, people like you with no respect for yourself much less anyone else, jumped on the band wagon and started trying to disgrace the very people that had the guts and fortitude to feel their country. We were raised to feel an allegiance to or a pride for the great country we live in. If you don’t like the status quo, get off your dead ass and change it. Don’t throw stones at those who had the guts to put it on the line for something they believe in!

  21. Phil Edwards says:

    I I remember that night and the televised draft lottery which seemed almost too bizarre to be real. Gathering around the family television set, where my parents and I had so often enjoyed the many great TV programs of the 1960’s that had been broadcast for our entertainment, we were now trying to take in an event that was affecting us all most personally. Like others around me at school, I was somewhat uneasy with the idea of serving in Vietnam but had always considered it fairly inevitable that I probably would someday the way the conflict was dragging out. The wait for the lottery program to come on and to hear my birth date read was a fairly intense experience but when November 1 came up almost immediately and took number 19 on the board, I recall feeling surprised as well as disbelief that it was all over for me so quickly. Having to drop out of college in my freshman year, I was inducted in the Army in 1970.

    • Cindy Rierson says:

      And the following year we did the same thing in front of the TV and waited for Nov 1 to be drawn and it was number 366. Unreal.

    • RJ says:

      Mr. Edwards, thank you for your sacrifice to our nation. I too served in the Army from 1994-2003. To have had to drop out of college and serve must had been very hard and scary. Hopefully, sir, you finished your degree and continued on to a successful life. Thanks again and God Bless!!

  22. Mike says:

    My draft number was 53. I didn’t know this until recently. But I went in on the delayed enlistment with a friend of mine. I passed the physical, he didn’t. I spent 7 1/2 years in the Amry Security Agency, and spent 4 years in SE Asia but not Vietnam. Volunteered twice for Nam but was turned down both times. Had lots of fun times in the Army til I went to Ft. Hood Tx. Got out after Ft Hood. I didn’y like the Army, but liked the Army Security Agency.

  23. Gene says:

    As I write this on Veteran’s day, I certainly have the utmost respect and admiration of all who have served. I graduated in ’69 and had a draft number of 254. I grew up in the country within a mile of the Ft. Hood reservation. My dad was a mechanic at the base and we had a steady stream of GIs that seemed to adopt my parents. I knew a lot of the young men that were sent to Vietnam. I saw the concern in their eyes and the anxiety in their voices. I didn’t join and I wasn’t drafted. But I am thankful for all who did serve. God bless you!

  24. Dale says:

    Joined the Navy after HS in 1970. Intent was to become corpsman but the tests landed me on a submarine. Spent most of my enlistment hiding from Ivan waiting to launch Polaris missiles. The draft wasn’t a factor in my decision. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing other than I might have re-enlisted after my six was up. But the culture had a very different opinion of the military back then.

  25. Patty says:

    So if you enlisted in the army in the mid 1960s, how long did you have to serve? Likewise, if you were drafted how long did you have to serve if you did not sign up for another tour of duty? How much of that time would be spent in active duty versus training? For instance, if you signed up, and were sent to Nam how long would you have been in ‘Nam?

    • Steve says:

      Your service commitment depended upon the MOS that you enlisted for. Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is the training that the Army provided.
      Most guaranteed MOS training required a 3 or 4 year service commitment. Draftees were not assured of a specific MOS and were enlisted for 2 years of active duty. Training counted as active duty service. A standard tour in Vietnam was for 365 days in country.

  26. Roger says:

    In 1969 my birthday was 277.

    In 1970, my first year of eligibility, I won the lottery July 9th

    I was drafted in 1971

  27. robert says:

    just watching an amazing history channel show(3 parts) on the vietnam war. actually, heartbreaking is a better word. i’m 61 and was #25 in the lottery. i was on my way to india after 1 year in college. we were in venice at the grand opera house seeing thelonious monk. met an american woman who asked me if i knew my “number”, as the lottery had just happened. i said “no.” she asked my birthday and gasped when i said feb. 19th. “that’s my brother’s birthday. you’re number 25.”
    the rest is a good story, indicative of the times. i did not serve. and i feel for all who did. i still am a strong believer in PEACE!!!!!

  28. Mike Jett says:

    Even though I’ve already commented here, I would like to say something else that’s not about me. The other day I was at the VA clinic for a routine check-up and I saw something that took me back. This young fellow, probably not more than 25 was cheerfully calling out to someone down the hall and his spirits were very positive. The thing is about half his skin was grafted onto him and most people would say he was pretty disfigured. In Vietnam he probably would have been a KIA, but thanks to advance battlefield medtech he survives. I got through Vietnam without a physical scratch. These people are coming back from Iraq and Afganistan in this kind of shape are the heroes, as are the ones unscathed…Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your service.

  29. Brian Kramer says:

    My birthday was 5-29-52. my no. was 81.
    I went into the Reserves in March of 71. I never did find out if I would have been drafted. If my number would have been low enough to be called up. Where can I find that ? Can anyone help?

  30. Al Hubbard says:

    My number was 309. I remember watching with anticipation (until I fell asleep at about #200) even though I had already decided to join the Navy. In my family we had 2 Marines, 2 Army, & 1 Air Force. All that represented the Navy was 2 outlaws (In-laws). After I partied out of college in March of 1971 I joined the Navy on the 180 day delay plan. I went in Nov 29 of 1971 in San Diego, went to Hospital Corps School, then to Lab Assistant School in Oakland, then to Mobile Construction Battalion 10 (MCB-10). Deployed to Puerto Rico, Diego Garcia, & Guam. Intended to stay for 20 years, but got tired of being called “baby killer” and having garbage thrown at me from cars.

  31. Number 107 in 1970 says:

    I was drafted in May 1971 and served my two years. The military chose not to send me to Viet Nam but I did spend 19 months in an overseas assignment. For most of my life I have not been accepted by both those that did not serve and by those that served in Viet Nam. Because of that, I do not readily admit that I served and definitely do not decorate myself with every pin, patch and military insigna that I can find. Just because someone did not serve in a combat assignment does not mean that they gave any less to their country.

  32. Number 107 in 1970 says:

    I believe the draft should be brought back, with modifications.

    1. Every eligable male and female should be included.
    2. The time of service should be 18 months AFTER minimal training is completed.
    3. The 18 months of actual service would provide for no additional job training or benefits after discharge.
    4. The draftee would be able to select military service or work for a civilian agency. Pay would be just above the national minimum wage with all medical, dental, vision paid along with a housing and clothing allowance. A mandatory savings program would provide a lump sum “nest egg” but no other benefits after discharge.
    5. No combat or other hazardous duty assignments for those serving the 18 months.
    6. Those desiring additional/specialized training, higher pay or to have benefits (including college) tthat would extend beyond discharge would be required to volunteer to serve for longer periods with the minimum being three years of continous service.

    Those successfully completing their 18 months would now have work experience, a little money saved and some type of job training. Those that wanted more, could opt to re-enlist, expand their training or extend their draftee service time to obtain civilian job and educational benefits.

    Many of todays youth would benefit from the opportunity to get away from their enviroment, earn some money, learn a job skill and gain some very valueable experience.

    • #330 in 1970 says:

      Are you INSANE?

    • Dave says:

      Is this a variation on ….give a man a fish and you feed him for a day ….teach a man to fish ….yada, yada, yada …. Give a boy a gun and he may only kill 1 person in a robbery ….teach that boy how to use that same gun and he’ll go on a rampage …But, just think of all the new jobs you’ll create on police forces around this country ….trying to control all the kids you taught how to use a gun effeciently in the NEW DRAFT. Yes in Israel they do what you said but, they are fighting for their very existence and the musslims…. for them it’s a way of life for hundreds even thousands of years. but, here in the USA? I like the other guys answer….are you insane?

    • RG says:

      I agree. Would be great for this country. Making men out of boys. :-)
      Vietnam 1970-71

  33. Sandy Clemens says:

    I joined the Army Reserve to avoid being drafted BEFORE the lottery was around. I’m not proud of that and would have been anxious to protect my country …. IF that had been the case. BUT it wasn’t. The ‘Domino Theory’?? Gimme a break! I did then and still do think we should heed President (and General) Eisenhower’s words…… ‘Beware of the Military Industrial Complex’. It fairly obvious now, the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ also includes the LEGISLATIVE branch of our government who grub for the billions of dollars involved. Disgusting. Still, the damaged lives and the loss of lives is so very, very sad to say nothing of the waste of money on unwinnable wars for the sake of profit.

    • richie says:

      Bully for you. You didn’t drink the coolaid. Every guy returning to college post vn said ” don’t go !” Do what ever necessary to not go. Having govt. direct war is insane. (still is) Take a hill then retreat, a few days later, retake the same hill. Insane. No ones life was worth the “conflict”.
      The gulf of tonkin was a lie. American deaths were underestimated and viet
      deaths were highly exaggerated.
      Worst of all..we have learned nothing.
      Dick cheney is a coward and sent many good people to their deaths.

      • OncleWillie says:

        Sorry, richie. The “everyone” you talk about did not include me.

        I find it odd that you decry the Gulf of Tonkin and then lambast Vice-President Cheney. Mr. Cheney sent no one to Vietnam. That would have been Democrat Lyndon Johnson and his SecDef Robert McNamara. As VP, Mr. Cheney was not in the chain-of-command and did not have the authority to send anyone in the military to a combat zone.

        Kindly stay with the facts and leave your personal political agenda at home. I served as a Marine in Vietnam. I did not hear about your service?

    • Mark says:

      You are right. I was in ROTC until the POW’s came home. My father was elected to Congress and served from Jan 1963 until Jan 1996 when he retired at age 63. He is 92 now. He was in ROTC at UF until commissioned 6 months befor Pear harbor. He volunteered for the 501 PIR at Taccoa, GA. then part of the 82nd. The 501 moved to the 101st by D DAY HE landed ontop of a heavy nazi nest astride N13 and attacked south toward the primary objective CARRENTAN as a Captain and with bare seniority hewas in command of almost 50 men only one, Sgt Pogue had he ever met. About 11 am the paused and wondered ad the invasion been called off and they left to their own devises as plans would have over run N 13 and they had seen no one after the heavily reinforced intersection to their north other than Frenchmen who, knew the naxi had twice thrown the ALLIES INto the Channel had little to offer. And the nazi brutality in Normandy ws incredible. The whole world knew the invasion was in progress, but the exact place ad time remained secret until the first general died and oughed the entire plan. Thankfully some naxi thought it was an elaborate hoax. Back headed south with Pogue out front and the men in a large rectangle spread well outside both the east and west sides of the road. Pogue was captured and lived in to the 1970s. My father heard a nazi heavy machine being cleared for firing immediately to his right ear, before the shooting he dove into the ditch beneath the gun and when he could tossed in a grenade, got behind a concrete electric pole and started with his Thompson sub machine gun to return fire. That day he shared two cans os Schlitz around. The then erected the first Monument to Freedom in France and balance or empty upon the other. Not until June 13 was CARRENTAN taken. And then only because the panzer and parachute divisions that had arrived te week before or refitting and was unknown to the allies, likewise the intelligence missed the 30 foot tall hedgerows, ancient mounds of rock carried to the property line over a thousand years. The fighting was so fierce that after 7 days of boating the azi simply ran out of bullets and withdrew. That night HILL 30 was assigned as the assembly area, then ear 10 pm they move south to maintain contact with the enemy. As night fell the men dug in a deployed to defend in depth, at dawn they started to move south when they were hit by hr returning tanks and paratroopers. The battle is depicted in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Fritz Niland, was evacuated prior to battle by JUMPING JESUS THE chaplin of the 501 that wrote up the day in his LOOK OUT BELOW after te war.

      The 501 was awarded 2 presidential unit citations. My father vowed never again
      , and yet the Tolkin Gulf resolution came up after the Kennedy assassination. Just after the President’s trip to Tampa where my father hosted the president and rode in the seat next occupied by JACKIE in Dallas. The 101 generals were national security advisor and hair man of the Army. SAM, LIVED to deeply regret the worst decision of his life and after a private discussion with President Lyndon Johnson began assembling the votes to cut off funding. He opposed every armed intervention thereafter, declaring we were to few to iChat too many to die with some authority saying no overnment should ever send us soldiers into a war they were not going to quickly and decisively win and get out.

  34. First Lottery #195 says:

    I graduated from high school in May 1969 and a month later landed a real good job. I turned 19 on Sept. 24 and remember watching the first draft lottery with my girlfriend (now my wife) and my parents thinking well I will finally know one way or the other. Well I was number 195 right in that middle third so I still didn’t know for sure. I got my first notice to report to the Federal Building in downtown Cleveland for a physical in April 1970. Then came the second notice at the end June, “Greetings” was the first word as I recall. I have been selected. Report for induction on Aug 19, 1970. I found out later that number 195 was the last number drafted in 1970. Hated to go and leave the job and family but came back two years later and got the job back and got married. As I look back it was one of the most positive things that ever happened in my life. It taught me alot.

  35. Mike Jett says:


  36. Number 51 says:

    I was a senior in college and “won” the lottery with lovely number 51. By December of 1969, many of my High School friends (who survived their tour, some didn’t, including my cousin) were returning from the RVN and strongly suggesting that I wouldn’t like it there! Second semester passed in a blur and I found myself with a diploma in one hand and a draft notice (still have it) in the other. I was to report for duty on September 2d. Had my physical during June and noticed then that although there were a fair number of college kids there, many of the other draftees seemed to be coming directly out of jail or mental
    hospitals. Since the likelihood of being sent to Vietnam seemed rather high, I made the decision then and there that I wasn’t going with those guys. I then enlisted for a three year stint rather than being drafted for only two. I was then informed by some former friends that I was a soon-to-be, killer of asian babies and war criminal! I was asked by a very serious young woman: “how can you shoot women and children”?
    (Standard answer: “don’t lead them as much” lol. I wasn’t even in yet and my friends turned on me.
    Bottom line: on the day of induction, because I enlisted, I was given a physical deferment that would have been completely ignored had I just llet the draft take me (or so I was told by a friendly young lieutenant!!)

    • Dave says:

      This was a typical attitude of the era … I hadn’t thought about it for years until one day my 7 year old daughter came from school. She usually was happy and eager to tell me about her day …but not that day. Finally she came out side where I was working on a tractor still quiet but, I knew something was bothering her so I said just tell.me what bothering you. She did …She asked if i killed babies because a kid at school told her his dad said I did. Coulda knocked me over with a feather. All I ever said to anyone was I didn’t shoot at anyone who wasn’t shooting at me and babies don’t carry guns, so her friends dad was wrong. This was almost 40 years after the war. There was no neutral ground back then “51” ….you was either for or against.

      • Tom 51 says:

        Hi Dave, thanks for your comments.

        I was drafted right after “Kent State” and the national moratorium. At the time, it appeared that the government was now starting to shoot college kids for simply protesting. I absolutely didn’t want serve and thought that the government was run by fascists.

        At that time there appeared to be a “class war” in this country. Kids from the upper middle class always seemed to get out of the draft. They seemed to have a much different attitude about certain entitlements; among them was an exemption from the draft.

        I was a working class kid. Most of my friends in High School were working class kids and they WERE the ones that were sent to RVN. I got lucky and went to college. Alternatively, had I not gone to school, my suspicion is that I would have been in country during 1967-68. There is nothing that anyone did there that I could say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t have done. (Scare the shit out of me and give me an assault weapon and see what happens.)

        We had been raised by fathers and teachers who all seemed to have been WW 2 “grunts”. It was impressed on most of us that we had a duty to serve the country whether we wanted to or not. I was definitely against the war and didn’t want anything to do with it, but I wouldn’t have fled to Canada. Once again, I got very, very lucky.

  37. Cleatus says:

    Is it just me or do those blue capsules look to be two different colors?

  38. Mike says:

    Got drafted in early 70 after dropping out of college, exactly 2 months later. Went to Whitehall St in NYC for my physical. I was classified as 1Y. To this day never knew why, and since 1Y is in case of war, am mystified why I wasn’t called.

  39. Joe says:

    I was drafted in 1971 ( low lottery number ) I joined the USAF in Sept.1971. I was trained as a Bomb Loader/Weapons Mechanic and with my career field I thought they were going to send me to SE Asia. My first duty station was in the European Theater on a Recon. base.with access to munitions storage ,delivered by RF4C. I did not serve in SW Asia ,but I was available for the call. I retired as a E8.

  40. joe.h says:

    I was drafted in 1970.Report for induction Aug. and send me to Viet Nam Oct..11th.Spend 11 months and 10 days.Brig.221th.MP,Co.”C”.Da Nang.I was asked WHY?.Never found a answer.

  41. GC says:

    I was a freshman, drew a high number, and was safe. Watched the first drawing in the Grill at Ole Miss. Some of the young men who were in the grill that night died in the Vanity and Uselessness that was Vietnam.
    Others I knew went, survived, but were never the same. Shattered lives for Nothing. I am thankful I did not have to make the decision to go or not submit. As for fighting for our ‘Freedoms”, I do not recall ever being threatened by the Vietnamese or any other country in my lifetime. The last time my Freedom and Liberty were defended was when someone took the last shot at some damn Yankee in 1865. And for those who want to argue religion, Jesus is referred to as the “Prince of Peace”, not prince of War.

    • Dave says:

      I like your answer …Yes Jesus is referred to as the “Prince of Peace”, but satan is referred to as the god of the earth ….. and there in lies the problem!.. WW I and WW II ….there was a defense of our allies to consider … Korea and Nam …all I can remember some one saying why we were drafted there was to protect the 38 th Parallel in Korea and the 17 th Parallel in Nam ..Maybe we shoulda’ put up a fence with a sign saying …KEEP OUT .even if someone painted a line, at least you’d know where the line was and not to cross over there ….it don’t work that way tho’.. But, we may see another draft if we want to keep a free flow of oil to the World. I don’t think too many people realize the build up of military and armaments around Iran just waiting for Iran to buck the sanctions put against them. I read the quote below and thought ….what a wise man he must have been to say this, then I read who said it and had to rethink. but, if you think about it…. GB jr used the same platform to get us back over there and now instead of the Sunnis and Shiites killing each other as they have done for years, they have now banded together to face a common enemy ….You guessed it ….the USA and our need for oil. The quote is so true.
      “Of course people don’t like war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” …Are you ready for the guys name who said this …..Hermann Goering He wasn’t too far wrong ….was he?

  42. Dave says:

    My lottery Number was 21 ….I had left Pa. looking for work and my draft notice followed me out to Chicago. The draft center there looked like they revived it from WW I but, your well being was the last thing anyone thought about. As we walked in there were people outside yelling for us to burn our draft cards, Someone was yelling “Here come more baby killers” One idiot had a bucket of some kind of blood (later someone said it was pig blood) and with a big paint brush was splashing us. All I wanted to do was to get back to Pa to say good by to my family but, they told me I was too close to Canada to trust me to go home. Finally, I signed a paper that I would report in Pa. and they would induct me from there. On the way back out was more people…. some were spitting at us then somebody hit somebody and I thought I’m not even a soldier yet so, I’ll be damned if I’m going to fight when when I’d be fighting soon enough. Here I was not old enough to drink or vote but, I was supposed to feel honored I was chosen to fight for reasons that are still eluding me. Now they run these ads that if you see a soldier to walk up and tell them thank you. No one ever said anything that resembled “Thank you” to me. At least over there a guy knew who there enemy was …. but, back here it was worse. Words and attitude of the blissfully ignorant hurt more than any bullet could and it seemed most everyone was your enemy. I forgot everything about those times and days ….I just wanted it behind me and get on with my life. Now when they ask vets to stand on patriotic holidays I remember what happened the last time I stood up. I just sit there and thank God it’s over.

    • Glenda Farrow says:

      if you could email me , i have plenty of questions i would like to ask you sir. your post caught my attention. i am writing a report for school and i would love of you could help me understand more about that era of the war.

  43. Jim #47 says:

    My number was 47 in the draft. In 1970 I was about to lose my studend deferment, as I was flunking out of a perfectly good community college. I enjoyed the social life more than the academic one. I was a 2 X 6 in the Navy Reserve. Two years active and 4 years active reserve requirement. I went to boot camp at Great Lakes and then to a ship for training. We put to sea out of Brooklyn Navy yard and hit a big storm. I got very sea sick. I had been slated to go to beep school and then on to radio school. I decided after returning to the reserve center to become a corpsman. My cousin was killed in Viet Nam with the 1st MAR DIV in July of 1969 as a corpsman. When I told the HM1 at the reserve center my desire to switch MOS’s, he asked me,”Are you an idiot or just stupid?” Don’t you know we’re losing corpsman at a rapid rate? I replied,” I don’t want to be on ship for the next two years, I’ll take my chances.” Well, I finished Corps School at Great Lakes on Dec. 4th 1971 and was sent to NAVHOSPORLFLA for 2 years. I did not see the 4th MAR DIV until 1975 when I went to pharmacy school. I was fulfilling the rest of my active reserve time. I re upped for 2 more years and got out in 1978. I went back in in 1988 and did 18 more years as a commissioned officer and retired in 2006. The Navy did all that for me. I enlisted for a lot of reasons. Like many, almost all of my uncles on both sides served in WWII. My uncle was a corpsman with the 1st MAR DIV at Guadal Canal. I’m glad I enlisted.

  44. Lloyd #238 says:

    Birthday 1-14-50 (#238). Put on status 1-H after reporting to the San Antonio, Texas induction center in February, 1970. It’s very brave to comment on how “patriotic” it was to serve, etc. However, I don’t recall anyone at the center wanting to be drafted to fight in a war we were not going to win. Wars never resolve anything anyway. My Levis were made in Vietnam – go figure.

  45. Lloyd #238 says:

    Another thing. I was a dependent of an Air Force officer for 20 years and lived on bases all my life up to that point. I had enough of it by then. Lived overseas, including France. Our housing was surrounded by WWI cemeteries, human remains and unexploded ordinance. I understood about war by the time I was 6. Judging by some of these comments, there are a lot of grown men who still haven’t –

    • Sebastian says:

      Lloyd, if you are so content to have not served in Vietnam, you would not be indicting men who did serve.

  46. Al says:

    I was classified 1-A from the time I was 18 and then I received a high number in the lottery. They never even contacted me to take a physical and I never called them to ask them why.

  47. Randy says:

    Lottery number 33, drafted in 1970. Had moved with family to San Francisco from Columbus Ga. (Sitting on the dock of the bay), and my draft notice came, I had 2 weeks to report to the draft board in Pa. Funny thing though, I think that was the best thing for me at that time in my life. It gave me a springboard to my future occupation and made me grow up really fast.

  48. Tom Dulaney says:

    Was drafted a year before the lottery in 1969 for the 1970 call up. Lucky for me the Army fouled up the rank of corporal at the time, “stranding” me in Germany with the 66th Military Intelligence Group in Munich, where we filed papers during the day and had a wonderful time in Europe at night, on weekends, and on leave. I was incredibly lucky.

    Thanks to all who served whether they wanted to or not, and their families, and most especially to those killed, wounded or damaged psychologically.

  49. Roy says:

    Had already passed the physical and was 1A, when the lottery took place my number was 1. I knew I was gone and when I reported to the draft office I was then selected for the Marine Corps for a 2 year stint. MCRD here I come. Left on 1-19-70 and got back to the states and out 12-3-71. It’s all history now.

    • Wes Abney says:

      Roy: I recently learned that a new documentary film concerning the military draft is in the works from PBS and Partisan Pictures . They would like to talk to men who drew No. 1 in the lottery. If interested you can contact Mr. Tristan Walker via email: [email protected].

  50. bobcobb33 says:

    Vietnam was a waste of time and humanity. Vets are to be honored however.

  51. Don Schroeder says:

    My number was 58. Got drafted march ’71 into army.

  52. David says:

    Since 1968, when I was still 16, I realized the war was very wrong and by the time I went to college, I demonstrated against the war many times. I dropped out of college after the April-May 1970 antiwar protests and Kent State & Jackson State massacres and was immediately classified 1A (subject to immediate draft). I was 19 then. I talked to volunteer draft counselors and was seriously considering hitchhiking to Canada if I got the call to appear. But the 1970 lottery placed me at #220 and the counselors advised me I was very unlikely to be called, so the lottery saved my sorry behind.
    I later went on to be a paramedic, then finished college and got into research as a scientist where I made a significant contribution to medical science.

  53. Mike Miller says:

    I was the last of the draftees. Draft # 66 in 1972. Nixon got elected and I was in before Thanksgiving. It was all good.

  54. Sp4 Davis says:

    Number 104 for 1971 draft. 1-30 taken in January. 31-100 taken in February. None in March or April. My number was up in May. Basic in splinter city at Ft. Campbell, AIT at Ft. Gordan. 19 months at Quarry Heights, Panama as an MP. Home in 1973. Now retired from Federal Law Enforcement. No “in country” service but was treated as badly as most Viet Nam Vets. This Viet Nam ERA veteran rarely volunteers my service record in “mixed” (civilian and former military) company. Only conflict in history where there are two classes of veterans for the same time period based on where you served. Viet Nam Veterans and Viet Nam ERA Veterans.

  55. Dave says:

    I read almost all these stories and I do have to admit, If I coulda got out of it I would have. My friend died about 5 or 6 years ago of cancer …. his doctor said it was exposure to agent orange …. not long after he died I went in to see my doctor for what I thought was a boil under my arm, in 2009 a couple of days before my birthday. Found out I had stage 2 lymphoma affecting my heart and right lung so keeping it from my family, well that ship had sailed. Lost all my hair and went from 155# to around 100# by the grace of God I’m still here. No one ever had it in my family’s history, on either side so genetics was out of the question as a cause so I tried to get to the root of the problem…..lol Well good luck getting the army admit to anything or take responsibility even when they are caught red handed like LSD experiments, withholding medical help to those colored guys with syphilis, even during the atomic bomb testing where those guys stood up and faced the blast… there was movies of it and they still denied it. So you guys that were fortunate enough to not go, or get a better stint or the guys who were smart enough to go to Canada… God bless you because you didn’t miss a thing. Our whole generation was thought of as an embarrassment to the country and they wished we would just go away …. well, another few years and they’ll get their wish or I’ll get my parade or procession…. I think they’ll win. I have nothing in my home to remind me I had anything remotely to do with that place over there. The only thing that pisses me off is that this new bunch of presidents throws that salute out there knowing fool well that they have no idea what it even means and most times it’s a pain for them to even do it, because they don’t even look the soldier in the eye they’re saluting …. ! My lottery number was 21 and I went to the party but, don’t feel bad you wasn’t invited or chose not to attend, it wasn’t all that great.! I know I wish I woulda’ stayed home also. I love this country but, I just don’t like the people who are running it. I’m not bitter nor do I think about it unless another comrade dies …. maybe they’re finally at peace I tell myself. Here’s an excerpt from a poem I read quite often …. it’s about rain, guns in the distance, and who death had chosen.
    “Rain; he could hear it rustling through the dark
    Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
    Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
    that soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
    behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
    gently and slowly washing life away.
    And death, who’d stepped toward him, paused and stared
    Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
    Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
    Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
    He’s young; he hated War; how should he die
    when cruel old campaigners win safe through?
    But Death replied: ‘ I choose him. ‘ So he went,
    and there was silence in the summer night;
    Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
    Then, far away, the thudding of the guns. …

    Does that sound familiar to any of you?

  56. Mike #63 says:

    I turned 19 on November the 10th 1970. Got my draft papers sometime in the middle of December. February 4th 1971 started basic training at Fort Leonard Wood Mo. I stayed there for 8 more weeks for combat engineer training. The whole time we were there all of the drill instructors had all of us believing we were going to Nam. After 2 weeks leave I went to Hanau Germany as an atomic weapons expert in ADM. I served almost 20 months in Germany. I really enjoyed Germany and will always remember my experience over there. I got out on the 25th of January 1973 as a spec5. That was about the same time they pulled most of the troops out of Vietnam.

  57. david says:

    I graduated in 1971, went out and signed up for the draft ( required by law) I kept that draft card in my wallet for the next 20 years, threw it out when I turned 40. Never knew what my lottery number was until today when I looked it on line. number 318. I never felt the need to be involved in Viet Nam. What a hell hole that was. never did serve in the military and my father wont have either If he could have gotten away with it. but none the less I am thankful for those who did go.

  58. david says:

    yes I am human

  59. david says:

    whats your problem what do you expect duh

  60. Jay says:

    I volunteered for the U.S. Army. It was repugnant. In no way did I feel then, nor do I feel now, that we were defending the homeland of the United States. It was all about being a bouncer for the multinational corporations. I would never do it over and strongly recommend that young people avoid war. It is hell. If you want to defend your country exercise your 2nd Amendment rights and buy a rifle. Don’t expect to use it though because the U.S. homeland has not been invaded since 1812. Also do your best to keep the corrupt politicians in Washington, D.C. from aiding terrorists. My generation failed to stop Reagan and Bush from aiding the radical Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan and we got 9-11 as a result of their mistakes. You want freedom – become a dissident and resist the government when it does evil. You will do much more for freedom than a bunch of immoral little lemmings who obey orders.

  61. Adrian Winchester says:

    I have a question for you: After you your birthday was called, how long did you have until you had to go to Vietnam? Was it one month or two?

  62. Michael Haskins says:

    My lottery number drawn on December 1, 1969, was 46 (my birthday is November 11, Veterans Day). I went for my physical just after Christmas, 1969, and was inducted on February 9, 1970. By mid-April, I had completed basic training and was sent to Fort Sam Houston for training as a medic. By mid-July I had completed AIT and was on my way to Vietnam.

  63. Joey #332 says:

    I enlisted in the Air Force before the lottery. My number turned out to be 332! Hindsight is always 20/20, having said that it was a life altering experience for the better.

  64. george says:

    \Well good luck getting the army to admit to anything.\ What a crock. Cancerous lymphoma has been considered a presumptive condition for agent orange exposure for years. I’m betting you were never within a thousand miles of Vietnam.

  65. Rick says:

    Sr. in College nand my draft # was 3. Immediately went and enlisted in Air Force. Had 4 great years with them in Germany and Phoenix.

  66. Ed Savage says:

    Got lucky with a lottey number of 259… I remember all of us sitting around the tv in the dorm lounge. Other than meeting my wife, the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.
    I did not support the war by that time… I did support it early on, but by 1969, It was obviously accomplishing nothing. I would have gone if called, but not gladly… By then lots of guys I knew from the neighborhood had returned and many of them were a real mess. I often wonder if they ever did recoup. Anyway, that’s my story of the lottery.

  67. Joe says:

    Born in ’43,just enough ahead of the \curve\ to miss the draft for Nam. Did not dodge the draft, just lucked out, even looked into ROTC in college. Thought those who served were doing their duty and obeying the laws of the land. Always thought that those who fled to Canada were the cowards. If you were a patriotic protester, serve in a non-combat roll or refuse to go and accept the legal consequences. Protesters who directed their venom at the soldiers were disgraceful. They were probably embarrassed somewhere in their psyche that they did not measure up.

  68. jon says:

    wow, what a wide spectrum of stories and emotions. should be published somewhere the general public can read. I had the honor of being drafted twice. they made it stick the second time but didn’t enter the Army until November 71. by the time we finished AIT, the number of new troops going to VN was greatly diminished. even tho some in my company were designated to go to VN, none did.

  69. steve says:

    Lottery # 96 Yep my ass got drafted. Notice came on 26 April 1971 Report date 26 May 1971. Some things you just don’t forget. 23 years 5 months and 6 days later I retired from the Army. Damn I didn’t see that one coming.

  70. Barry says:

    Lucky number 003 in the lottery of 1971. I had no intentions of joining the service however I wasn’t in college. Joined the Marines and was at PI when my mother received my draft notice. Did my time at Marine Corps base Quantico Virginia, Command and Staff College.

  71. Fred says:

    I was drafted and inducted into the Army on the day of the lottery drawing, December 1st, 1969. My draft number would have been 246. I guess some of us have all the luck. I am not ashamed of my service, but I would not do it again. Military service should be voluntary.

  72. […] Reserve is far different than 45 years ago when every male was mandated to serve in the military. This article about the Draft Lottery may help explain how it worked (as opposed to the all-volunteer force of today. […]

  73. Fred says:

    In post # 71 I was trying to say that I never would have been drafted because of my high number. I served stateside for two years, and I agree with poster # 31 who said that he had never felt accepted by those who did not serve in the military, or those who did serve in Vietnam. I’ve been told by people in both groups that I am not a true veteran. I did my job as assigned. A computer spits your name out and you go where it sends you.

  74. Bill says:

    # 69 in the draft. Got my induction notice for Sept 8th, 1970. Got diverted from VietNam and spent 13 months in Germany. I got lucky. Have the utmost respect and gratitude for all that served during a difficult era ! God Bless America and all those that gave their lives for us.

    • #330 in 1970 says:

      With all due respect, they did not give their lives for us. We were not threatened, and haven’t been since the 19th century. They died for a LIE, just as those who have died in Korea, Somalia, the Mideast, and other places in the world where we have no business being. But, the government makes up a bogeyman, waves a flag, and here we go again, killing innocent people, sacrificing naive young men and wrecking the economy of our country and other countries where most people just want to live their lives peacefully. I hope God does bless this country, I doubt he blesses this Government. What an EVIL in the world is this government!

      • richie says:

        I proudly didn’t serve the insanity called Vietnam. I went on to med school and proudly serve the citizens on America. I had several thoughtful friends the went to Canada and one that was imprisoned in federal prison for not serving. Those folks are the brave that were determined to stop the insanity. Die for America? Someone tell me how the USA is safer because of the Vietnam war. Blindly joining the military because other join is a poor excuse. Think…don’t follow. Education is a gift.

  75. Baltimore Bob says:

    I enlisted in the US Navy to escape going to Vietnam
    but after getting injured and spending numerous months at
    the PHILLY Naval Hospital I return to service with orders to
    Vietnam so in February 1969 at age 18 I headed to Survival
    School in Little Creek VA and then on leave I wrecked a 1963
    Chevy Corvair and my friend Paul was killed, Less than two weeks
    later I was in Vietnam where I lost my Virginity at age 20.
    I also got a letter from my pervert Uncle SAM on my 19th Birthday.
    So it appears I was going to be in Vietnam be it the Navy or the Army.
    15 guys born on March 7th 1950 died in Vietnam and I was Not
    one of them. But my marriage and divorce was worse than Vietnam.
    Reparations for Vietnam Vets
    Righteous Robert

  76. T. Furman says:

    I was very lucky and never had to serve. I am allergic to penicillin which was still in wide usage at that time. In addition, my birthday, June 8, was the last date drawn in the first lottery!

  77. Jake Lydey says:

    I took my chances and waited for the lottery, ready to leave for Canada if I got a low number. As it turned out, my birthdate was 358 so I knew I wouldn’t get drafted. So I stayed and got a job at the Toledo Jeep assembly plant and went to the University of Toledo while working the second shift at the Jeep plant. Got married and had two kids and bought a house – all before my classmates who got drafted made it back home from Vietnam or Europe.

    I loved that damn lottery. It made my life and gave me a huge headstart over my peers who got low numbers and were drafted.

    • dnewbold says:

      From Vietnam magazine: Thanks to everyone above for leaving your stories with us. KEEP THEM COMING!!!!!!

    • mike says:

      How nice for you, Jake! I’m sure all who did serve because they weren’t lucky enough to get a low number are more than glad to have served in your place. We are also very happy you got that huge head start over us.
      Sleep well, pal. We had your back.
      BTW, I wonder if you vote for the teabagger republicans that would love nothing more than to cut our ‘benefits’.

      • T Lewis says:

        Way to tell it like it is to this jerk. . Those guys didn’t really dodge the draft, they let someone else do the fighting and the dying. They should keep their mouths shut, but like this (redacted) are unable to NOT GLOAT

  78. Virginia Jim says:

    I joined the Navy in early 73 at age 18 but Vietnam was winding down at that time. Later in 74 my draft number was number #1. It didn’t matter but I think that funny since I won that lottery. Haven’t been able to win a dollar in any lottery since, not even a scratch off.

  79. buddy Doug says:

    Hi my name is Mike King and I have a friend telling my story.I was drafted into the army and on 4/16/66 was headed to Nam.I had never done much shooting until Uncle Sam called me.I loved to fish,loved my 63 red chevy convertible and loved my girlfriend Patty.My dad died when I was little so it left me,my brother Don and sister Sharon for mom to raise.I was like most guys my age just wanting to have fun after graduating and enjoying life in the 60’s.Fate had other plans for me which is so hard to understand.Today I am just a name on a granite wall but still loved by all who knew me when I was still living.My girlfriend still cries reading my letters and looking at my picture but has also moved on and raised a family.Mom too has passed away and as old age begins changing faces of family and friends I remain 21.On the day I died we were on operation Wahiawa in the Bo Ho woods which was 16 kilometers north of Cu Chi.Another young man by the name of Ron Ange who also entered country on 4-16-66 also paid the ultimate sacrifice that day.I was hit in the neck by small arms fire and died almost immediately.I wish I could have grown old back home but God had a different plan for me.I loved my country and hope someone here will visit me on the wall on panel 7E line 96.John is on panel O7E line O92.And by the way we were only in country 35 days.Thanks for reading my story and remembering me and all those who served before and after me.If you do this I will live forever.

  80. Righteous Robert says:

    It is Sad that a Nation of Cowards allowed the Vietnam War.
    That it only got a 10% Protest Rate (only 1% of Women)
    EVERYONE should have protested Vietnam.
    Vietnam was about Genociding over 2,000,000 Vietnamese.
    Vietnam was about Killing Your Fellow Americans
    making the People of America LOSERS in my book
    the Book of Righteousness.
    If I was an adult in the 1960’s and had a 18 year old boy
    I would have taken him and moved to Canada.
    If I was a German Citizen in Germany in the 1940’s during WWII
    I would have fought against Germany on the Resistance.
    I do What is RIGHT which the 75% of Americans
    can’t understand because they are practicing Cowards.
    You have to Earn Courage like I did
    and over 2.1 Million other Vietnam Vets.

    Reparations for Vietnam Vets
    Righteous Robert
    Baltimore Bob

    • Mike says:

      Righteous Robert, you are one flakey muthaf_ _ _er. And I’ve seen a few at the VA hospital. Maybe you should check your ass into one. Ask for the psych ward. You seem unable grasp the concept of intelligible communication. Don’t go away mad…..just go away.
      BTW, I AM a Vietnam Vet. Your babbling bullshit is what gives the rest of us a bad rep!

  81. Jumping Joe says:

    So many different views from so many different angles! I went over a patriot and came back seriously disillusioned. I believe in my country and I believe in freedom, but I no longer believe that war was fought for any reason but individual gains, mostly monetary, for some higher-placed entities.

    • Righteous Robert says:

      Jumping Joe at least is intelligent.
      Vietnam was about Americans hurting their fellow Americans.
      All Americans not just 10% should have protested Vietnam.

      Righteous Robert

  82. John Olson says:

    I got my draft notice in April 1969 and reported on May 15, 1969. On December 31, 1969 I had orders to report to Ft. Lewis Washington for over seas assignment to Vietnam. I would have been number 149.

  83. Righteous Robert says:

    So are you calling the War Righteous
    because if there was a War there should have been a Full Out
    Military Strike on Hanoi. But Vietnam was only about One Thing
    the American Economy and Vietnam saved the Economy $25 TRILLION Dollars most American Companies would have went
    Out of Business and we’re talking over 25% Un-Employment.

    Americans are too Big of Pansies ever to Challenge their GOV
    like the WWII Germans couldn’t challenge their’s.
    Over 58,000 Americans were Murdered in Vietnam
    by their fellow Americans.
    We were Trespassing and how would you handle a Trespasser in your house if you owned a GUN ? You’d shoot them.
    The Vietnamese were only Defending Themselves against Cowards.
    Against Invaders.

    The Three Biggest Cowards in American History:
    Presidents Ford, Nixon and LBJ. Three LOSERS.
    Who know exactly what happened to President JFK
    as they probably killed him.
    As Kennedy was pulling out.

    So contest what I write.
    Because serving in Vietnam doesn’t always make you a
    Person of Courage.
    I’m suffering from AGENT ORANGE Poisoning
    which has killed as many as 1/2 Million Vietnam Vets.

    Reparations for Vietnam Vets
    Minimum $1,000,000
    Righteous Robert
    Baltimore Bob

  84. Randy Anglin says:

    Joined Army Reserves after College 1972

    • Wes Abney says:

      Randy: I recently learned that a new documentary film concerning the military draft is in the works from PBS and Partisan Pictures. They want to talk to men who drew No. 1 in the 1969 lottery. If interested you may contact Mr. Tristan Walker via email: [email protected].

  85. Tom DeBor says:

    I was in the first lottery and drew #150, however I had a college deferment until I smoked my way out of school in March of ’70. Because my life was spiraling I was mostly homeless until the Autumn of ’71 when my draft board caught up with me. Inducted on Veterans Day 1971, ended up an MP (Ironic or what?) in Fischbach, Germany. I was almost 23 at induction and not a very good soldier, but I never got in trouble, kept my nose clean, and did my duty. As lousy and unhappy a trooper as I was I am proud to have served.

  86. Baltimore Bob says:

    I’m more intelligent than you are as I earn $90,000 year
    Face It: Your fellow Americans Tried to Kill You.
    We have NUKES and Soldiers are Not needed.
    A Full Out military Strike on Vietnam.
    Who cares if that started WW III.
    This Country looks WEAK.

    75% of Everyone are Born a Coward and will Die a Coward.
    My problem is cured with a Reparations Check.
    One thing about AMERICA
    we are about SUING WHEN YOUR WRONGED.
    Name anything more wrong than Vietnam.
    Did you enjoy GENOCIDING over 2,000,000 Vietnamese ?
    Was it FUN ?
    Americans are No Different than HITLER.

    Thank You
    Reparations for Vietnam Vets
    Righteous Robert
    Baltimore Bob

    • Tom DeBor says:

      Making $90 K/year has squat to do with how high one’s IQ measurement is. After I got out of the service I eventually earned a college degree and had a rewarding career as a respected professional. I never got wealthy but I was and am comfortable and am now comfortably retired.

      Young men who served and went to “Nam and those who avoided the draft by any means at their disposal, including going to Canada, were both courageous. However it is grossly unfair and unjust to cast spurious aspersions on either group. We were all between the ages of 18 and 25 when we had this profound question of choosing the correct moral decision thrust upon us. We knew that whatever choice we made would follow us for life but most of us were far too young to comprehend exactly what making decisions of such magnitude actually was going to mean. For many it would mean the destruction of their lives either physically or emotionally, for others a long struggle to come to grips with that choice. I am reasonably sure that no one set out to go to RVN to kill babies and almost none of them did that by their own intent or design.

      I think it is time to stop calling each other names and criticizing the choices we made almost half a century ago because those choices were forced upon us by circumstances far beyond our control as well as our ability to comprehend why we were being compelled to make them. My best friend from that era, Thomas Francis Lawler is now just a remembered name on a black wall in Washington D.C., whereas I am a comfortably aging retiree and I still do not know why he is there and I am here and neither do you.

      Let us finally love and forgive those who went and served as well as those who followed conscience down another path. Most of all let us honor those who sacrificed with their lives and happiness whether you believe they made those sacrifices defending your freedom or not, let us please simply honor and respect their courageous sacrifice because when they made the choice to enter the service pretty much all of them, draftees like me included, took that oath and symbolically stepped forward genuinely thinking and believing that we were off to serve our country and perform a sacred duty as Americans whether we wished to do so or wished not to do so.

  87. Mark Wheeler says:

    If you will read the first four verses of Romans chapter thirteen, you will find that God authorizes the government (powers that be) to bear the sword (an instrument of death) against evil doers. Therefore, our soldiers were government agents authorized to execute the evil enemy. P.S.- The word \kill\ as used in \thou shall not kill\ is more accurately interpreted as \murder\. So the correct reading is \Thou shall not murder\. And don’t forget that it was God Himself who instituted capital punishment.

  88. Righteous Robert says:

    The Military Draft was SLAVERY REVISTED.
    Having NUKES means you do Not need Soldiers.
    The Vietnam War and maybe even the Korean War
    were about one thing the Economic Stability of America.
    I enlisted because if I was Drafted
    I probably would have died in Vietnam my first month there.
    Vietnam wasn’t Fair but what is more Un-Fair
    is the 75% Coward Americans that allowed it.
    Lets face it American Women
    do Not give a Dam about American Men.
    They just care about our Money.
    If there is Alimony paid how many Women turn it down ? Few.
    I also believe there is NOTHING Wrong with Paying for Sex.
    All Husbands basically pay their wives.
    What is Wrong in Society is any form of Gambling.
    All I know is Legalized Prostitution would END
    Un-Employment in America.
    So lets try it in Atlantic City, NJ
    Us MEN deserve a Break.
    I’d like to enjoy Sex again before I die.
    All I ask is Why did you Try to Kill Me ?
    I think us Vietnam vets were the Greatest American War Heros.
    Reparations for Vietnam Vets
    Righteous Robert
    Baltimore Bob

  89. Righteous Robert says:

    Does anyone know a Draft # for myself born March 7th 1950 ?
    I didn’t register for the Draft till I was almost 18.5
    I know I was supposed to register before age 18.
    My Dad never had me Register.

    • Ethie John says:

      A simple google search got your answer Righteous Robert: https://www.sss.gov/lotter1.htm
      Your welcome!

    • Roy says:

      Bob your number would have been #122 for the 1970 Draft Call.
      It wasn’t up to your Dad to have you register, it was just a given to register on your 18th birthday.
      You would have been called up and as I mentioned early in a post mine was #1 , so there wasn’t even any questions about if I was going to have to go.
      Drafted at 19.5 years and served in the Marine Corps for 2 year active duty by selection also.
      Here is the list of numbers for 70

      • Righteous Robert says:

        Roy stated “it was just a given to register on your 18th birthday.
        It wasn’t up to your Dad”.

        I guess it wasn’t up to my Dad to protect me either.
        I was a Kid till the day I turned 21.
        Let’s face it we have a**holes in America
        and they number over 200,000,000 strong.
        Vietnam was Dead Wrong.
        I’m looking for an APOLOGY
        but THUGS never do that.
        We haven’t needed soldiers since we invented the Nuke.
        Make a statement by using one or just state the threat to whoever.
        The vast majority of Americans are PANSIES.
        They allow their GOV to do anything they feel like doing.
        They hurt over 2,000,00 of us American males.
        Put whatever on the Ballot and let us Vote on it.
        WE THE PEOPLE is America.
        Americans should NEVER hurt their fellow Americans.
        And shouldn’t allow their GOV to do so.

        Question would Roy pass up a $1,000,000 Reparations check ?

        Reparations for Vietnam Vets
        Righteous Robert
        Baltimore Bob

  90. #330 IN 1970 says:

    Or Corpses out of boys. What IS this fascination of and desire for killing? There are a lot of MEN out here who have not submitted to the masters, and killed and/or sacrificed their lives for ……What? NOTHING and in VAIN!

  91. Tom DeBor says:

    Robert I am sorry to have to criticize your economic analysis of the effects of the War in Nam but they were anything but positive for the U.S. Economy. The War brought on the hyperinflation of the 1970s because of a great imbalance in the balance of payments because so many dollars were going to foreign spending with no return save the body bags and destroyed lives, this greatly weakened the U.S. dollar, which was then, as now, the world’s reserve currency. The war also put a tremendous strain on our manufacturing sector because war goods were being produced at a low profit rate as opposed to consumer goods at a much higher profit rate. This slowed the steady rise in GDP that had been ongoing since WWII. Finally it helped transition us from and energy exporter to an energy importer because in war the military becomes a fuel glutton. Hence when the first oil shocks came in ’74 the effect was even more catastrophic for the U.S. since oil prices were pegged to the aforementioned world reserve currency; the U.S. dollar. Because both Johnson and Nixon were reluctant to request tax increases big enough to cover the real costs of the War this is what set us on the path of ever growing deficit spending. Sorry, but rather than saving the U.S. economy the Viet Nam War almost destroyed it.

  92. Righteous Robert says:

    GOV people are just basically THUGS as Power Corrupts.
    Americans basically Genocided over 2,000,000 Vietnamese and
    I hope GOD finds every American Responsible for that crime.
    WWII Germans and 1960 Americans not much difference.
    Both LOSERS as Both would Not challenge their GOV.

    Reparations for Vietnam Vets
    Righteous Robert
    Baltimore Bob.

  93. Ed says:

    Bravo Shelly! The rotation of draft numbers called to duty was unique to each local draft board. The last number called at my draft board for 1970 was #28, ME! When I phoned for better bus stop directions the lady board director laughed and told me #27 went to Canada. Although I served with distinction, and don’t regret a moment of it, I’d still like a private moment with #27. He was pardoned by a peanut farmer.

  94. PudbertSavannahGA says:

    We used to call it BODY BAG BINGO

  95. Glenda Farrow says:

    if you could email me more about your experience. i would love it . i am writing a school report and would love to understand this era.
    thank you

  96. Righteous Robert says:

    It would be nice if Americans would PROTECT their fellow Americans
    from harm as Being sent to Vietnam was like as bad as RAPE and
    Child Abuse (Americans killed over 25,000 of their fellow Americans
    that basically were Kids under the age of 21 as if you can’t buy or
    drink alcohal then you are a Kid.) But Americans are scared of their GOV. You can’t put 50,000,000 Americans in prison for failure to
    follow rules but anarchy would force the GOV to go to Martial Law.
    We just don’t look like China because most Americans are PANSIES.
    Protect your fellow Americans so as the next time ask the GOV to
    use a NUKE as probably just the threat would probably work.
    I’m Not scared of my Goiv as nyour Pansy Parents and
    Grand-Parents. Besides WWII Vets were Bribed by this Gov
    and that paved the way for both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
    WAR if you don’t understand was GOOD BUSINESS up until 1975.
    WWII took us out of the Depression and the 1950’s & 1960’s were
    good times with war going onj as America went into a Recession
    in the mid 1970’s when the Vietnam war ended.
    So how about an apology for the FAKE war called Vietnam.
    Where we Genocided over 2,000,000 Vietnamese.
    1/3 the amount of Jews that Hitler genocided in WWII.
    Making Presidents LBJ and Nixon look like American Hitlers.
    The TRUTH will set you Free.
    The Penalty for protesting Vietnam was NOTHING
    but 90% of Americans just could Not do it.
    Thanks for Nothing – LOSERS.
    Baltimore Bob

  97. Dave says:

    Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em …… Shakespeare

    I guess you had to be there?

  98. Bob says:

    I enlisted in the U.S NAVYfor 2yrs. in dec.69 in senior yr high [email protected] to boot 6 days after graduation. honorable discharge 72.draft no. was 081in 72-would have been drafted backthen-but didn’t care.my dad is a WW2 ARMY VET&all my uncles served in WW2&KOREA&some cousins who went to VIETNAM.i would have joined no matter what.definetly enjoyed my time in the navy. god bless all you VETS& THANKYOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE&SACRIFICES!!

  99. Tom DeBor says:

    The fact that WW II provided the death knell to the Great Depression is indisputable, but at a high cost to the consumer economy which did not begin in earnest until after the War. The costs were the suspension of any sembelence of a free market economy through absolute wage and price controls in combination with severe and draconian rationing and very restrictive resource allocation, in other words from 1942 until early 1946 our economy was as much of a command economy as that of the USSR. When the War ended almost all of the government control over the economy was relaxed or eliminated. What made the economy boom in the 1950s and 60s was not military spending but a combination of some massive peacetime government spending programs and the fact that due to those wartime restrictions of consumer spending, the rationing of all consumer goods, and the stringent resource allocation all happening during a period of full employment when the War ended most consumers had disposable income to spend for the first time since 1929. Employment stayed high after the War not because of military spending but rather because the GI Bill was making it possible for the Vets to go to school and get better jobs, afford a GI mortgage, and afford the new consumer products on the market. Yes, there was significantly more defense spending than there had been before the War, but the real post war boom was fueled by the building of the largest public works project in world history, the Interstate Highway System, and many, many smaller projects both federal, state, and local; like new schools, expanding state university systems, new sewage treatment projects, new water ways, airports, bridges, hospitals, and thousand of other public works and infrastructure projects. All of these projects put more disposable income in people’s pockets and they bought new cars, moved to the suburbs, purchased lawn mowers, TVs, dishwashers, new furniture, wall to wall carpet and oh so many other consumer goods that had nothing to do with the military industrial complex. At the same time we spent billions on the Marshall Plan to rebuild war ravaged Europe and another equal plan for Asia and surprisingly most of that money never left the U.S. It worked thusly; we might give France $10 million to rebuild rail ways with the provisio that all of the heavy equipment and material need to do the job was American. The only portion spent in France was for labor.
    As I pointed out before the Vietnam War hurt, not helped the US economy. By the time we entered Vietnam because of high taxes and a constantly growing GDP we had paid down the debt from WWII and the Great Depression (Debts that were greater in relation to GDP than the national debt is today) but because Johnson and Nixon both refused to raise taxes that had been lowered once those debts were paid we began to pile up debt again. In addition our balance of overseas payments began to go in a negative direction because we were producing goods for the war that simply did not contribute to economic growth as did consumer goods and many of those goods were being destroyed. Granted a Huey or Chinook helicopter costs a hell of a lot more than a Mustang or Plymouth Fury but not more than a million of those cars, and building a million Plymouths or Fords employs a hell of lot more workers and uses a hell of lot more resources than does building 10K choppers. Vietnam not only gave us high levels of deficit spending and a screwed up balance of payments, because of those factors it also brought on inflation and And made us much more vulnerable to the \oil shocks\ of the early to mid 70s than we would have been otherwise. To think that Vietnam and Korea were good for the economy simply displays a woeful ignorance of economics and economic history. Did ‘Nam era vets get screwed, sure they did. The only two groups of vets in our history who got a fair shake after their wars ended were the Civil War and WWII vets and that is because there were so damn many of them they had political clout. Was Nam a dirty, nasty, ugly war? Of course it was, what war in human history was not? Were innocents unjustly killed? Of course they were, they always are. So Bob my suggestion is try to find some help for your PTSD, stop dwelling on the sins of the past, an work on preventing the wars and sins of the future. Let go of the bitterness and try to find some joy in your life before it is too late.

  100. Tom DeBor says:

    I guess one more thing I ought to add to my analysis of war (with the exception of WWII) not having a very large impact on the economy is that since the end of WWII until the end of Vietnam U.S. military spending averaged less than 10% of GDP. That means that during the Korean and Vietnam Wars the amount of the U.S. total economy not going to finance those wars, and/or being spent on the Cold War was 90% or more of all economic activity in the country. During WWII those figures were more reversed with about 40% of the economy going to the War effort. But I find is dubious to argue that Korea and Vietnam contributed in a large way to the prosperity of the 50s and 60s when over 90% of the total economy was devoted to other purposes than the military. During the three decades between the end of WWII and the end of Vietnam military spending was not even the largest line item in the US budget, averaging a shade over 20% of the total budget and the federal budget averaging less than a third of GDP. So I am sorry Bob but your theories on the effect of war being the root cause the great prosperity felt during the years after WWII just don’t hold up under analysis. You also keep talking about the people being enslaved and duped by their government, last time I looked we were still a democratic republic, so if we have been duped for the past 70 years the fault lies solely with us because we, the people, are the government!

  101. Roberto Uresti says:

    September 14 , only lottery I every won in my life anemy prize was Vietnam

    • Leo says:

      I was also No. 1, September 14, 1947. As it turned out when the lotery was held, I was already an E4 and in the third year of a four year hitch in the Air Force. I think I had a few beers that night. It was also the only lotery I ever won.

  102. Tony says:

    My draft number was 069, born August 20, 1951, drafted July 19, 1971.

  103. Randall says:

    I was 19 and in my 2nd year of college in the fall of 1969. My lottery number was 79. I vaguely remember that I didn’t have to worry about being called, though that sounded like a low number. I had already taken a draft physical because I didn’t take enough units my freshman year in civil engineering, so I changed tp an easier major — political science.

  104. Jack says:

    I was born sep 29 1964. My sister was born in 55 but had friends getting drafted. I remember her crying all day long when she got the news of friends dying.

    I was nominated for the Air Force academy but my family did everything they could to turn it down. I wish I hadn’t listened to them. I now serve the country as a meteorologist for the National weather service. The people that trained me in the NWS in 1989 were all Vietnam vets. I have nothing but respect for anyone that served our great country for at least a couple years. Thanks for your service in Vietnam.

  105. Dennis says:

    I cannot thank you all enough for sharing your stories. And I thank you deeply and profoundly for your service. I grew up during the Vietnam War. My older brother just missed going as the draft ended before his low number was called.

    I had a grandfather in WWI, Mom’s brother in WWII, My father served in the Korean War, My son in the Iraq war. (I served during mostly peacetime.) I love my country. Not always the Supreme Court. Not always the politicians. But my country and my fellow citizens.

    Thank you

  106. Michael says:

    I was born in 1971 as the war was ending. If I was 18 in 1970 I would have been #161 so I might have been called.

    I have been watching “Vietnam in HD” which has been a fascinating documentary. It has made me appreciate how valiantly those who served fought in very difficult conditions to say the least. In addition I have learned that the average soldier saw significantly more combat in Vietnam than WWII. Thanks to all who served.

  107. Mike says:

    I entered the Navy in Nov. ’69. I was in boot camp at Great Lakes when the Random Sequence Numbers were drawn. They allowed us to watch TV that night to see the numbers drawn. I was drawn 013 and they immediately took 1 – 15. I received my draft notice while still in boot camp. Served 4 years, 3 of it on a submarine. Saw no time in Nam but was spat on several times while traveling in uniform. My dad and all my uncles served during WWII and Korea. My older brother failed his physical and my younger brother had a high enough number that he never served.

  108. Prof J says:

    I vividly remember the day of the lottery in February 1972. I was a freshman in college and three of us wanted to know our numbers. I called the local radio station and as I gave numbers to my friends, others walked up and wanted to know their numbers. After giving out multiple numbers, I yielded the phone when I told one young man his number was 07. He went way screaming. My number was safe as were most numbers for my cohort; the war draft was winding down.

  109. […] first dates drawn the ones who would be drafted. (You can find out what would have happened to you here – my birthday, 15th May, came out number 130 so it was more likely than not that I would have been […]

  110. George Myers says:

    Two NY legislators idea…

    • JohnHerald says:

      Thanks, George. Saved me the explanation you offered. Hope they fix this because otherwise it’s a good article.

      • 366 blue plastic capsules contained the birthdays that would be chosen in the first Vietnam draft lottery drawing on December 1, 1969. The first birth date drawn that night, assigned the lowest number, “001,” was September 14.

  111. Fred Atkinson says:

    I was born in 1954 and I seem to remember my birthday being drawn as number 300. But I am not finding any record of that lottery online.

    • spartanbill says:

      There were 7 different draft lotteries. This article only addresses the 1st one. Here is a link for all seven. http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/datasets/draft_lottery/draft_lottery.html

    • callmeprez says:

      No one born in 1954 received a number. 1972 draft drawing applied only to men born in 1953.

      • Gregory Brown says:

        The lottery continued to 1975, but draft authority ended with the 1972 draft. I was born in 1954 and my number was 221 in the 1973 lottery.

      • Divine Friend says:

        Damned odd, I was born June of 1954 and I enlisted and received my draft notice in 1973 while I was in Vietnam, so there is that.

      • calforman says:

        Drain, you are completely wrong .. 1954 Born People, did receive Draft Numbers… and were very distinct possibilities .

        Draft Lottery Numbers Drawn

        The Die is Cast

        Washington (AP) — Selective Service held a standby draft lottery yesterday to assign callup numbers to the two million men born in 1954, but they won’t be drafted short of a national emergency. However, Byron V. Pepitone, nominated by Nixon as draft director, said men with Number 95 and lower will be given classifications to provide a ready pool that can be processed quickly if necessary. He said these men will be able to receive full consideration for deferments and exemption requests. Those with numbers above 95 will be kept in the same holding classification in which they were placed when they registered for the draft last year. Pepitone said that if the batch of men drawing numbers this year are not needed next year they will drop into a lower category of vulnerability. Their place, he added, would then be taken by men who are

        one year younger, who would also be vulnerable primarily m the year of their 20th birthday. Pepitone also stated that though it is possible for men to be drafted after the year of their 20th birthday, it is not probable. Pepitone noted that this is the first time since the lotteries were begun m 1969 that none of the men drawing numbers faces the certainty of induction. The lottery numbers are as

        follows. Draft Lottery Numbers January: 1-198, 2-250, 3-120, 4-93, 5-327. 6-41. 7–230, 8-34. 9-176, 10-248. 11-202, 12-272. 13-185. 14-302, 15-182, 16-158, 17-296. 18-117. 19-315, 20-280. 21-136. 22-225, 23-263. 24-299. 25-23, 26-36. 27-205, 28-323. 30–353 31-259 February: 1-233. 2-54. 3-133. 4-150, 5-283, 6-199, 7–47. 8-291, 9-103. 10-305, 11-219, 12-190, 13-31, 14-224. 15-97. 16-186, 17-270. 18-80. 19-339, 20-213. 21-178,22–329 23-102,24-91.25-64, 26-335. 27-149.28-151. March: 1*67. 2-347, 3-193, 4-174. 5-24, 6-217. 7*269, 8-196, 9-289, 10-75, 11-225, 12-125, 13-274. 14-275. 15–180, 16-281, 17-129, 18-192, 19-197, 20-330, 21-13, 22–173, 23-18, 24-236. 25-260, 26-203, 27-124, 28-10, 29-3, 30-21,31-273. April: 1-209. 2-85, 3-261, 4-5. 5-145. 6-363. 7-210. 8–266. 9-114. 10-69, 11-106. 12-229, 13-246, 14-29, 15-100, 16-221, 17-322, 18-351. 19-153, 20-122, 21-98. 22-331. 23-115. 24-170, 25-162, 26-244. 27-215. 28-177, 29-172, 30-264 May: 1-361, 2-211, 3-17, 4-278, 5-201, 6-155, 7-183. 8 89. 9-139. 10-290, 11-348, 12-355, 13-131, 14-81. 15-295. 16-163. 17-70. 18-223, 19-46, 20-104. 21-311, 22-132,23–253, 24-184, 15-14. 26-265, 27-337, 28-318, 29-321. 30–243 31-19 June: 1-187. 2-297, 3-63, 4-95, 5-319. 6-127, 7-159,8–179. 9-194, 10-130, 11-345, 12-137, 13-312, 14-256, 15–287. 16-334, 17-342, 18-333, 19-87, 20-262, 21-231. 22–232. 23-340. 24-214, 25-220, 26-33, 27-1, 28-71. 29-228, 30-59. July: 1-144, 2-359. 3-293, 4-207, 5-22. 6-15, 7-242.8–90, 9-212, 10-171. 11-73. 12-247, 13-72. 14-324. 15-227. 16-42. 17-61. 18-344. 19-336, 20-285, 21-138. 22-116.23–84. 24-16. 25-96. 26-316. 27-195. 28-152. 29-238, 30-154. 31-78. August: 1-62, 2-235. 3-82, 4-286, 5-2. 6-12, 7-237. 8–35 9-20. 10-357, 11-6, 12-188, 13-181. 14-112. 15-326. 16-350 17-161, 18-50. 19-101. 20-298. 21-282.22-48.23-

        -169. 24-206. 25-358, 26-79. 27-86, 28-208. 29-251, 30–310. 31-140. September: 1-68. 2-77. 3-28. 4-252, 5-349, 6-113, 7–168, 8-257. 9-94. 10-307. 11-288. 12-271. 13-110, 14-200. 15-268, 16-352, 17-320. 18-99. 19-55. 20-141. 21-135. 22–240. 23-234. 24-216. 25-306. 26-88. 27-166. 28-354. 29–65. 30-314. October: 1-32. 2-325. 3-105, 4-146, 5-121. 6-147. 7–175. 8-148.9-245. 10-308. 11-241. 12-267. 13-109. 14-45. 15-157. 16-66, 17-51, 18-119, 19-365, 20-294, 21-167. 22–126, 23-76. 24-300, 25-4. 26-9. 27-239. 28-189, 29-52, 30–53, 31-277. November: 1-165. 2-57, 3-284, 4-37.5-111.6-346,7–123. 8-107. 9-356. 10-26. 11-279. 12-142. 13-300, 14-143, 15-222, 16-276. 17-303. 18-304. 19-27. 20-56. 21-313. 22–83. 23-341, 24-218, 25-74, 26-58, 27-134, 28-60, 29-343, 30-160 December: 1-44. 2-39. 3-25. 4-118, 5-332. 6-30. 7-8. 8-38. 9-362. 10-11, 11-156, 12-108, 13-128. 14-301. 15–40. 16-204. 17-360. 18-92. 19-364. 20-292. 21-249. 22–317, 23-258, 24-191, 25-328, 26-49, 27-254, 28-338. 29–43. 30-226. 31-164.

        -t’nile4 Pros* Imrrnallonal JUST IN CASE: Ginny Ward spins one of the drums to begin the 1 973 draft lottery Although no more men will be drafted, the Selective Service System held the lottery, which would go into effect if conscription were re-introduced The lottery was held at the Commerce Department

      • Steve Hayleck says:

        Draft numbers were last assigned to birth year 1956 though I believe yours was the last birth year that may have been called up. Note they didn’t induct until most were 19 years old.

    • Gary T says:

      Fred, its all over the web,, just search and look for yours ! The March 8th 1973 Drawing, Draft Lottery was for those born in 1954 to take effect then in 1974 by the local selective service Boards. generally number up to 095 were called . Since your number was 300 then your birthdate would be November 13th, 1954 https://www.sss.gov/Portals/0/PDFs/1974.pdf

    • Mark Muffs says:

      I was born that year too but the draft ended in 1973 a few months after I turned 18.

  112. redape says:

    I think that Sajak and Bill Murray were Canadian citizens.

    • Fedweb says:

      Pat Sajak was born in Chicago, and served at Armed Forces Radio in Saigon

    • Jim says:

      It doesn’t matter.All males living in the United States,citizen or not,were subject to the draft.

      • Joe Kopac says:

        True. After Nam, me and a friend were stationed at Fort Hood. Told me he wasn’t a citizen. I said “How in the hell did you get drafted?”Anyhow the Army sent the him,me,and another guy who he picked as witnesses to San Antonio to go in front of a judge to be sworn in. Judge asked him a few basic questions about the USA and he was now a US Citizen.

  113. Gary T says:

    Glenn Frey November 6th, 1948 = 076 Moved to Los Angeles Ca to avoid induction in Home state of Michigan ! Draft Dogger

    • Phil Williamson says:

      Moving from one State to another didn’t stop you from being drafted. We moved from Washington to Oregon and I still “won” the lottery.

      And FYI…a true draft dodger would be Ted Nugent.

      • Bob Smyth says:

        Do you mean “poopy pants” Nuge ? Motor City Madman ? Talentless, tasteless trigger happy on a reservation Nuge ?
        The loudmouth coward that screws underage girls and brags about it ? or another Ted Nugent? Just askin.

      • Bob Smyth says:

        BTW I was lucky number 007 in the first lottery, drafted Jan 15 1970 and in Vietnam by June 1970. Lucky me.

      • NoNonsense11 says:

        Wow. I find this whole thing so poignant. On the one hand, thank you for protecting us, but on the other hand, I’m so sorry about what you had to endure. I can’t even imagine the stress.

      • Joe Kopac says:

        On the bus leaving Pittsburgh, many guys were crying.

      • Brad Sharp says:

        It’s called serving your country. Today’s democrats do not comprehend this.

      • Casey Kotch Losey says:

        I don’t feel that it has anything to do with political party but the right to know exactly what you’re getting into. Vietnam was nothing like WWII…there is a difference in fighting because it’s your duty and its the right thing to do and objecting to it because it is wrong. As a Democrat, I have always supported soldiers and fighting for your country….however, that does not give my government a free pass to get the US into war and expect people to fight because it’s your duty.

      • Talis says:

        Drafted 1971 Lottery #54 FDC
        Boot – FT. Campbell Ky
        Training – FT Sill Ok.

        Utter reich wing bullshit from you, a mindless ewe.
        There are just as many Dems buried in Arlington as Reich wingers.

        And the war was a lie. The false flag of the Gulf Of Tonkin incident was used to send our treasure to war. Mush like the multi trillion dollar and counting reich wing lie of a war in Iraq brought to us by the reich.
        The big lie: https://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2008-02/truth-about-tonkin

      • NoNonsense11 says:

        I understand that war would leave you feeling hostile and I’m sorry for that. Thanks anyway.

      • Jack says:

        Most democraps do not comprehend past building blocks….

      • Jimmy Gates says:

        And Bill Clinton, who also bragged about dodging, and all the rest, including the underage girls.

      • Phil Williamson says:

        Clinton was a Rhodes scholar. Nugent was a guitar player. Ya. I’m a phony. That’s why the government sends me my VA (ACA exempt) proof of coverage letter each year. Oh…and looky here sitting right in front of me is my letter from the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”

        Stick it up your ass if you don’t like me pointing my finger at Nugent.

      • Jimmy G. says:

        Nugent was 1Y. Like all the rest of the college boy, and senators sons.

      • Nick Wride says:

        Teddy ButtNugget is a fake patriot who got his 1Y classification because they thought he was too crazy for the service, since he had pissed and crapped himself for 2 weeks or more.

      • calforman says:

        Pill Phil IF 076 was selected ….. Where was Glenn Frey .. He did not register in California … Nor did he leave a forwarding address, sleeping on couches in Santa Monica .. so what ever you mean by the lottery , the Selective service did not have Cash to dispense, but was in the Process of protecting our Country with the Selection of Men for the Draft ..

      • Phil Williamson says:

        So what! Glenn Frey also didn’t go around saying we should invade Vietnam (our war) or go blow something up in Iraq to pump up GW’s ego. Frey, like many Chickenhawks, didn’t serve. You’re correct. But he also didn’t go around pounding the war drums like Nugent, Limbaugh and a grip of other loud-mouth “conservatives” did with Iraq.

      • calforman says:

        Stay on Topic …….. were Talking GLENN FREY …. Were not talking IRAQ,, World War I, World War II , Kuwait…. do you GET IT ?? He Did not pound a Drum but was a Draft Dodger, that if your a citizen in this country , you were obligated to serve, like the 56000 that died in Vietnam…

      • Carl Easley says:


      • oldschool says:

        I had plenty of school friends who were anti war and dodged the draft and also plenty who were inducted and all remained friends since 90% were anti war . I was fortunate to have a 3-a deferment at the age of 18 .All my drafted friends came home and some who dodged to Canada stayed there but we all have remained friends less the ones who have passed.

      • Brad Sharp says:

        Fuck you, Dick sucker.

      • Phil Williamson says:

        Oh…I’m so hurt. I did my time in the Army. I can say whatever I want about who *I feel *dodged the draft, and who didn’t. If you don’t like it, tough. Read our Constitution sometime. Glenn Fry wasn’t a war-monger. Get it? Or is that too hard to grasp?

      • Talis says:

        Protecting our country?

        There was no danger to our country.

      • Joe Kopac says:

        I tell people that was the only lottery I ever “Won”😉

      • Phil Williamson says:

        Once I knew I was going for certain, I went down and enlisted. At least it gave me a bit of control over what was going to happen. Lucked out with a decent recruiter who suggested the MOS. 31M. We played with multiplexers, or “Multi-channel Communication Operator” in the military world. I then went to the repair school (both were down at Gordon) to become a 31L. We repaired the MUX gear.

        When I came back from overseas I was stationed at Lewis. At Lewis we used Troposcatter microwave with our MUX gear. It was pretty interesting times back then. We were just coming out of vacuum tubes and analog systems, to transistors and integrated circuits using digital PCM.

      • catfishstew says:

        Phil what year. I was a Mike and then went for Lima. Sept 69-Jun 70 Ft. Gordon.

      • Phil Williamson says:

        Got there in Oct of 71. Left for Ft Benning in the middle of 72. Sounds like you were there just before me. TRC-24. TD-352. TD 660 ring a bell? :-D

      • catfishstew says:

        Ft Gordon Jun 69′ – May 70′ Basic and AIT. My hometown was only 15 mile from front gate.

      • Brady101 says:

        Me too…😂

      • Albert Mashburn says:

        pissed his pants to get out of it

  114. Farmer D says:

    I was drafted late in 1968 and entered the service on Dec 3. If I could have made it to Jan 1st, 1970 I would have #365t , served in the infantry and got my purple heart and just missed Operation Fish Hook

  115. MathProf says:

    I recall the first lottery, and do not remember it being televised. We listened to it on the radio at our fraternity house at the University of Buffalo. My birthday took an agonizing amount of time to come up. When it did, my number was 347 and I was free. Many others were literally crying that night. Will never forget celebrating at “our bar” later that evening. I distinctly remember carrying two pitchers of beer in each hand up to our “private” alcove in the bar. What a night.

    • Nick Wride says:

      It was televised. One of my best friends called me and asked if I was watching it and I said no but I turned it on. They had already gone past my birthday, Sept. 18 and I told him “I don’t see yours yet”. His birthday is 4 days before mine, Sept 14. It was at the top of the first row, #1. He went down and joined the Air Force the next day, served 31 years, and has a great retirement.

  116. Dave M1 says:

    The numbers changed every year, the example is 1970. I was not eligible until 1973.

  117. NoNonsense11 says:

    Mind if I ask a couple of dumb questions? Let’s say somebody is 21 in 1969 with a pretty high draft number, say 180 or so. I’m trying to understand what living through 1970 would have felt like for this guy, knowing that his number could come up or maybe not. How would you hold it together from one day to the next, not being able to make long term plans? I mean, the tension must have been exquisite. The second part of my question is the call/notice itself, because I can’t seem to find any information about this online. As I understand it, the local draft board would get orders from above to provide a certain number of draftees every month or something (and I assume that number fluctuated depending what the military felt they needed..?), so depending on how many young men they had in their district with each given DOB, it would be the draft board that would, little by little, be the source that each guy/family would turn to to try and get an idea how close it was getting to his number getting called? I mean, it’s not like there was a schedule somewhere that you could look to and figure out when you’d get called. I can barely imagine the stress it must have been to know yet not know. Final dumb question – I assume if somebody was in prison then it didn’t matter; like maybe a notice might arrive at their home, but obviously they couldn’t report. I appreciate the help with trying to get a more nuts and bolts idea of what all this meant in the actual lives of people affected by it. What a wild time it was. Thanks both for the help with my questions and for being our front line during such a difficult time.

    • John Tribbett says:

      First of all I’m not an expert on this topic, I can only relate what I went through during that time. I celebrated 18 in Feb and graduated HS in early June. I could not get a job that lasted more than a few days. I don’t recall how many jobs I had that summer. In one week I had 3 different jobs. Several employers would apologize they couldn’t afford to hire me because of my draft status. “you gotta understand, we could hire you today and next month find out you’ve been drafted and we’ve lost time in getting you trained.” I got real tired of hearing that. Long term plans? None. My brother-in-law had draft #10, but got a med school deferment. He ended up serving 2 years but not until after his medical degree. As for me, I was getting no where fast. Wasn’t particularly interested in college at the time, so it wasn’t really an option for me. The number of men needed fluctuated from month to month. For a while, if your draft # was double digit you might as well plan on getting a notice. However, not knowing from one day to the next was terrible. I finally decided to visit the various recruiters and figure out what I could do. I didn’t know anyone that had served recently so I had to make up my own mind. The recruiter was the Army and he offered me a 2yr guarantee for Germany to serve on a missile unit. My basic and advanced training would be about 4 mos, so it was very likely I would finish out my remaining 8 mos in Germany. The Army also offered up to 6 month delayed entry, which I took advantage of as well. After that, I was much less anxious because I no longer had to worry about the draft, or Viet Nam but most importantly I had made plans for 3 yrs in Europe. How cool! Right? Now I just had to figure out how to tell my parents. I think you have a good understanding about folks in prison. Did you know, some guys who had gotten in trouble with the law were given a choice by the court to face punishment or join the army or marines? The judge wanted to make sure they were going to mature in an environment that was better than jail. The anxiety of waiting was bad enough, but then you get in and if you were a draftee the Drill Sgts treated you differently than regular enlistees. I don’t recall that we felt differently down in the ranks about whether a person was drafted or enlisted. In my basic training unit, about 2/3 were draftees.

      • NoNonsense11 says:

        I meant to reply to you sooner, but one thing led to another… I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy and meaningful reply. I just hope there are things I can do with my life to kind of make some peace or beauty to balance out whatever I can of the stress you and others had to endure back then. Thank you so much for being there.

    • Jim says:

      Just FYI, I was NOT drafted. I enlisted for two years.
      The stress was there, but not like you have laid out. It was there, but in the background. you KNOW it’s there,but you an’t do anything about it, so you kind of ignore it – except when it resurfaces. You just go about living your life and waiting. Yes, you can’t really make long term plans, but all/most of your friends are in that same boat.
      The notice comes in the form of a letter. So one day, you look in the mailbox and there it is. You knew that you were eligible, but there was no warning, just that letter that popped up one day. I never heard of anyone contacting the draft board to check on where they were in the queue – the attitude was that you sure didn’t want to annoy THAT sleeping dog. However, the politically well-connected probably DID contact the draft board to see how it was going.
      I don’t know about the prison part, but I’ve talked with several veterans (enlistees) who got a draft notice while they were in training or in Vietnam.

      • NoNonsense11 says:

        Thanks, Jim; I really appreciate your taking the time to share and hello me with my questions. Thanks for your service and I wish you the best.

  118. Jim says:

    I was part of the first lottery…December 1969.In order to avoid being drafted and to get the best “deal” I could I enlisted in late ’69.I was in BCT on the day the lottery was conducted and read in the Louisville Courier-Journal that my number was 326.I cried myself to sleep that night.As it turns out I was luckier than most guys in the military during that era but I didn’t know that would be the case at that moment.

  119. Jack Etheredge says:

    I joined the Texas Army National Guard in December 1969 right after the first lottery numbers were drawn. My number was 154. I don’t know whether l would have been sent a draft notice. We were an airborne artillery unit so we had to go to jump school at Fort Benning GA after AIT. The whole six months, basic through jump school, we NG’s as the vets called us, served with regular army draftees and enlistees. We were treated no different than the others. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I matured physically and mentally. The drill seargents were all combat vets. It was not easy but it was worth it. There was no dad or mom to run to. I was thrown in with city boys from gangs that were there because jail was the only other option and backwoods country boys who could barely read and write. The main thing is we all were boys on day one and much closer to being men when we finished. After active duty l served the next 5 1/2 years going to drills and summer camps. We were a direct support unit of the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg NC. As a combat unit we requalified with our M-16’s every year and had numerous live fire exercises with the artillery pieces, 105 mm towed and 155 mm self-propelled, over the years. If the 82nd had been sent to Viet Nam we would have been activated and sent to Fort Bragg and deployed as needed.

  120. Jimmy Ducks says:

    I “won” this lottery in 1969, was in a daze for a full 24hrs, lol. BTW, the first doofus on the list is wrong. Sep 14 was #001, not 113 as stated. If you count the number of “top tens” in every month, you’ll see that the latter months have much more than their fair share. This tells me that someone did a crappy job of mixing the capsules.

  121. Jean Reidy says:

    I’m an author and I have a research-related question. I have a novel character who in 1971 graduates from high school but decides not to go to college. How soon after graduation would he get his draft notice? And after his draft notice how soon would he be reporting to boot camp? And finally after boot camp how soon would he shipped out to Vietnam? Finally, if his number came up while he was still in high school, would he likely be drafted as soon as he graduated? Essentially, I’m trying to establish if it’s possible for this character to graduate from high school in May of 1971 and end up in Vietnam before the end of calendar year 1971. If it’s possible, can you help me establish the scenario. Thank you!

    • Chris Aiken says:

      Not likely but possible. It would take several weeks to change status from II-S (Student) to 1-A, (you’re screwed.) Secondly, there was no draft in 1971 as I believe the lottery was put into place by then. If you had a low number, yes, you were drafted. And not all draftee’s went to Viet Nam.
      Assume the person was drafted in August, 2 months after graduating from HS. Basic training and advanced training could take 6 months. (I joined the Marines in Oct 1, 1968 and was in country (Viet Nam) in July of 1969.) Also, after training, I was ‘gifted’ 30 days leave prior to leaving country. I know of guys that would have been drafted but after 2 years of school deferment, got a high lottery number and were never ‘drafted’. Many of my fellow high school students joined the National Guard (1965-1968). 6 year obligation, but no Viet Nam. Oh, and one more thing. At one time, if you were married, you got a deferment. Then it changed to having a kid. So there was a rush to get married and get preggers.

      • Mark Muffs says:

        Nixon’s withdrawl of combat troops started in the latter part of 1969, so not all draftees would end up in Vietnam.

      • Keith G says:

        Most draftees did not go to Vietnam.

    • Brad Sharp says:

      20 minutes.

  122. Jeffrey Schimpff says:

    Drew #349. Unpacked my bug-out bag for Canada. I was not going to fight someone else’s civil war, no matter what number I drew. The people who voted for that mess should have been the first to serve in it – that would have ended it quickly. It was completely immoral, and ill-thought-through – a product of dinosaur thinking. It is sad that our nation has not improved much since then.

    • Brady101 says:

      You, regardless of your explanation you were a coward, with a huge yellow streak running down your back. You weren’t going to fight someone else’s fight, but you were willing to allow someone else to die in your stead. You would have been better off to keep your mouth shut… I can’t believe you can even look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself a man. I feel sorry for you..

      On thing is for certain, you weren’t afraid to announce that you were/are a coward and that you would have fled to Canada to avoid being drafted, allowing others to go, fight and die on your behalf…..

      • Doff Severn says:

        Well said Brady101. I totally agree with you.

      • Jeffrey Schimpff says:

        Brady, you sound like a thoughtless fool. No American “had to die” or “had to fight” in a Vietnamese civil war. The end result of killing some 54,000 Americans of my generation, killing 2 million Vietnamese, poisoning a nation with toxic chemicals, and wasting billions upon billions of dollars is that now we can buy our shirts made in Vietnam. That could easily have been accomplished without a 20-year war. Human stupidity knows no bounds.

      • Mark Muffs says:

        I guess I’m a coward too in a ways. We had no business of being involved in a war that Washington laid down so many rules, there was no way to win it but just keep fighting for those Hamburger Hills and get killed. I wasn’t born until 1954 so by the time my time came up, they about ended the draft but if it was still going on, I’d have high tailed out of here. I don’t blame you Jeff & with the USA in the shape it’s in now, I’d love to be in Canada right now. BTW–we lost 58,000 guys over there, not 54,000.

      • joe smith says:

        Cowards are the people who went to the other side of the planet to kill Vietnamese because they were afraid of what their government would do to them if they refused.

        If you can’t put your foot down and say no to useless killing or at least do anything you can to frustrate the efforts of the institutional murderers, then you’re the real coward.

    • Jack says:

      Coward Pussy…. My draft number was 1 and I enlisted and got a draft notice 6 months later. Scum like you needs to run….

      • Rick Stout says:

        So many things wrong here. You enlisted but got a draft notice 6 months later? Never happened. If you enlisted, they don’t send out draft notices except by mistake. Plus, if the “pussy” draft dogers were in the Army, they weren’t draft dogers. Seems you got a few too many head slaps in basic training. And if you were a LAS, you are the pussy. Otherwise, you would have requested infantry or artillery so you could show the world you are a hero instead of the pussy you are.

      • Jack says:

        Rick Stout, I did not notify the draft board I had enlisted in the Army. Draft Dodgers are no longer dodgers when they are arrested. I did not choose my job, the Army did that for me. As an enlisted two-year soldier, I did not have a say in the matter. I was initially assigned to the 8th Infantry Division, 12th Combat Engineer Battalion and from there, the 21st Field Artillery Battalion. As I said, I went where the Army sent me. The strange thing in my case is I never registered for the draft, but they found me! Before you start making an ass of yourself, know what you are talking about. I did my 5-year commitment of military obligation, so who is the real pussy here?

      • Jack says:

        So as to not confuse you, I initially enlisted for two years, then re-enlisted for three more years. I had three other brothers in the Army at the same time. The Army could have put me anywhere they needed me and I would have went. Looking at your other posts on this site, you appear to be a stick that likes to stir shit…. GTFU!

      • Derfallbright says:

        Jack…just a quick question to square up my memory with yours. I do not remember a two year enlistment option (in the 60’s) because that was the big deal at the time, should you enlist or wait to be drafted. If you were drafted you could be put in any branch, but the majority were put in the Army, but it was possible you could be put in the Marines who were not all that kind to draftees. The advantage to enlistment was you might have a better chance to get a good MOS, but that depended on what the needs were during those first couple of days at the classification center. .I thought the minimum enlistment in the 60’s was three years for the Army. It’s possible the Air Force even required four years. In any case you served for a long time, so good for you.

        I was an Army brat living in Wurzburg when I turned 18 and we were threatened that if we did not register for the draft at the embassy in Frankfort we might be subject to being drafted by the German Army. I feel confident that was BS, but I was fairly sure I don’t want to be in the German Army. I took my proof of draft registration to the local draft board in my home town when we got back to the states a couple of months later.

        Years later I found out from a friend that worked at a local draft board in the 60’s that the odds I would have ever been found by the draft board were small because there were limited computer resources at the time. She said they typically got lists of high school students and graduates and followed up if they didn’t register and they commonly checked local auto shops where dropouts would typically get a job. I would have been off of everyone’s radar. As I recall you were required to carry your draft card at all times, but I have no memory of anyone asking to see it. The system was very manual at the time, so it’s entirely possible for them to have sent you a draft notice when yo were already in the Army. Fred

      • Jack says:

        I enlisted in the Army on July 3, 1973! Not sure why you thought I enlisted in the 60’s!

      • Derfallbright says:

        The last person actually drafter was late 1972, the draft as a fear was over in January 1973…..so I just assumed you were talking about the 60’s.

      • Top says:

        To be accurate. Last man drafted entered the Army June 1973, there where 646 drafted in 1973. Possible draft notices where still in the pipeline late 73 just no call-ups?

      • Taos Joe says:

        NO DRAFT ORDERS WERE ISSUED AFTER AT LEAST….JUNE 28 , 1972..ON THAT DATE NIXON ISSUED ORDERS ENDING Vietnam Draftees……No Induction Orders were issued after that date EXCEPT For VOLUNTEERS …THERE WERE NO DRAFTEES In 1973…….I Drew # 12 Feb. 2 , 1972 For DRAFT NOTICE to Go Out 1/1/1973……..But NIXON Ended Those 1973 Draft Notices In JUNE of 1920……IF ANYONE Would Have Been Drafted in 1973 , With # 12 , I wouklda been among the First (1st)

      • Taos Joe says:


      • Top says:

        https://www.sss.gov/About/History-And-Records/Induction-Statistics, Last Man Drafted was Dwight Elliot Stone on June 30 1973. See Above Selective Service

      • Taos Joe says:

        YES , You of the FEW To have the Reality..NIXON Ended Vietnam Draftees JUNE 28 , 1972….NO DRAFT ORDERS ISSUED AFTER That DATE……..ALTHOUGH….Volunteers Taken for Vietnam for a while after…………………. THE DRAFT AS FEAR WAS OVER When NIXON ISSUED THAT ORDER Ending It On June 28 , 11972

      • Taos Joe says:

        NIXON Did Away with the Draftees for Viet-Nam JUNE 28 , 1972….No NEW DRAFT ORDERS were issued Pre-Ceeding & After this NIXON Order EXCEPT FOR Volunteers & I Believe they went in for 3 Years as they were want to choose Areas OTHER THAN Combat Related

      • john_willow says:

        Way after hostilities were over. Safe in Germany. You’re quite a big talker for someone who never saw a battlefield.

      • Jack says:

        The hostlities ended on April 30, 1975. I had three brothers in the Army at the same time and none of them were in Vietnam. A “big talker?” You sound pissed off because I did not get sent to Vietnam…. Bitch to the Army as they sent me where needed during my five years total service! NOBODY owes me, or you anything! I did my job that I was trained to do so get over yourself. When I enlisted they picked my MOS, not me. As an original two-year enlisted service member, I did not have a choice for anything. Who the hell are you to berate me?

      • Vinnie Scuzzarella says:

        Well. The Vietnam war was a disgrace and a total waste of 58,000 American life’s for what, built on lies and decietI have much respect for those who went that were drafted.

      • antiem says:

        A: If you did not register for the draft (as you were legally required to do) then you were de facto a draft dodger.
        B: At that time (early seventies), draftees were required to serve two years, enlistees for three years.
        Something (several things) in your alleged “story” do not add up.

      • Jack says:

        I enlisted for two years and at the end of my two, re-enlisted for three more. I am not a draft dodger as you say. I was already in the Army before the date of the letter. It took time to catch up with me. You are as stupid as the rest of the peeps that say what I say don’t add up. Know what you are talking about. I could just post my first discharge papers, but then someone would say they are not real. I owe nobody an explanation. You peeps do nothing, but try to discredit what others post. Find me on Rallye Point, dumbass…. You have to verify your military records to be a member…

      • Taos Joe says:

        You Seem to Carry A LOT Of GUILT for Somethin & Are Trying like hell with A Shitload of Internal Anger….to Convince UR Self U Do NOT

      • Jack says:

        Those pussy draft dodgers were draft dodgers up until the time they were caught. They were given the choice to go in the Army, or go to jail. When they were within range of 180 days, they were discharged so as to not be eligible for VA benefits. Those that did not accept administrative discharges faced courts-martial. Sorry that I did not explain it to your level of comprehension. I would certainly say it was easier for them to find me because my last job before enlisting was working for the AAFES on base at Fort Lewis, Washington. AAFES for your non-military mind is the Army & Air Force Exchange Service….

      • Taos Joe says:

        You Sold Tampons On The Base PX (Military Wal-Mart)

      • Bruce Probert says:

        moron you don’t have a clue

      • harpoturkey says:

        Sorry, Rick but I enlisted in the navy in April 68. I got my Army draft notice in boot camp in June 68.

      • Moderate Monkey says:

        Last name must be Ass!! Because your whole monologue shows it!! What a coward!! Legal wimp, the Army lets you volunteer for artillery duty or any other undesirable MOS!! Also, you couldn’t have been chasing to many draft dodgers in 1973. That was the last year

        anyone was drafted and only 643 were drafted!! Your story is BS like many “Patriots”

      • Jack says:

        What a douche bag you are…. Nobody said all draft dodgers were all from ’73 you dumb ass. Most were ones that finally came forward after being drafted earlier and were given a choice of Army, or jail. You and the others before you haven’t a fricken clue. Just crawl back under your rock you dumb ass troll…..

      • Moderate Monkey says:

        Wow impressed by the legal beagles vocabulary! Must have helped round up a lot of draft dodgers with your big-dog language prowess. To bad a sniper takes out the big-dog from a distance or we would all be safe with guys like you around.

      • Jack says:

        You are nothing more than a troll. You have done nothing in any post on this site, but ridicule others. GTFU loser. I was originally a TAMMS clerk and was cross-trained into a legal admin specialist by my unit so the Army put me where they wanted me. I had three other brothers in the Army at the same time all over the world. Seems to me you have been a failure in life at every endeavor so this is what you do with your low life — troll others! Such a dork….

      • Moderate Monkey says:

        I think you meant to respond to KeithG or Brady101 looks more like their bio? Doesn’t look like my bio. Looks like a lot of self analysis there!! Good for you – your on the path to redemption!!

      • Dan Farris says:

        I volunteered for Nam because I was young and stupid. Why did you let them send you to Germany, tough guy? Seems like a hero like you would have wanted to kill some VC. Draft dodgers had more guts than pussies in Germany.

      • Jack says:

        It’s not like I had a choice dumb fuck. You stupid idiots seem to climb out from under your rocks and make stupid remarks. I was originally a two-year man and right at the end of my two years, I re-enlisted for three more. The Army could have sent me anywhere and I would have went. Who the fuck are you to judge me, asshole?

      • Dan Farris says:

        Yes, you had a choice. I volunteered for Nam. You could have to. But you had a sweet European vacation and now you call everybody a coward. I do have more respect for draft dodgers than fat mouthed pigs like you.

      • thetackfour says:

        Not to belabor the point Jack but it’s you who have been judging others.. Who was brave and who was a coward.. I learned a long time ago to never judge another except by how they treat others. That’s really all that matters.. After I got home I made a conscious decision to live a peaceful life and to try and make amends for being part of something that was wicked.. Try and make peace with the past, Jack; life is so much easier if you do..

      • Jack says:

        I have only replied to others that have judged me. The Army sent me where they wanted me and because of that I am called a coward. Your reply had no merit. Don’t judge me, or tell me what I should do, or not do! If you have nothing constructive to add, don’t bother to reply at all! I don’t need to make peace with the past as I have no problem with it! It’s the idiots that make replies that judge me for where I was placed by the Army, placements I had no control over….

      • thetackfour says:

        No Jack, you started your very first post calling Jeffrey Schimpff a ” Coward Pussy” and now others are attacking you and you don’t like it.. It isn’t the past you have to make peace with; it’s yourself..

      • Taos Joe says:


      • Top says:

        Good for you. I spent 2 years in Vietnam and to this day I don’t regret one minute

      • Taos Joe says:

        If You are such a Non-Pussy…How Come U Took such A Cake Job while thousands were Blown to bits……When U Enlisted U Coulda Asked For Anything…HOW COME NOT Green Hats…Rangers….Seals….Front Lines for whatever branch U were In….Draft Dodgers…AWOLS Had Farrrrrrr MORE Balls than U will ever Have

    • thetackfour says:

      Jeffrey, I was “in country” from 1968 to 69 and thought it was an indefensible war then and more so now. My father was a Canadian (mom was US) who had a safe harbor set up for me in New Brunswick but the honest truth was I was too afraid to take it. I had a few friends in my class of 1965 and some that I knew from 66 who bugged out to BC. I was in a tiny minority who didn’t condemn them for leaving. Vietnam vets are loath to admit they were used and badly so and have to bring it down to cowards stayed home which makes them the brave heroes but look at what we accomplished. Nothing.. We made Vietnam safe for Apple, Reebok, Adidas, IBM, etc. etc.. I was in a combat unit that killed a number of Vietnamese both southerners and NVA but to what purpose? I’m not a pacifist so if we send the young off to fight we ought to make sure we are actually threatened and not be a cog for big business..

      • Keith G says:

        Why has no one mentioned the dominoe “theory”? Isn’t that what the Vietnam War was all about? To prevent the spread of Communism in southeast Asia and beyond? And didn’t we at least win that objective?

      • thetackfour says:

        No we didn’t.. All of Vietnam is now Communist as is Laos.. Cambodia was a wreck until Vietnam invaded, against our strong objections, and tossed Pol Pot and his murderers out.. We made SE Asia safe for Pepsi, etc. etc..

      • Keith G says:

        “…southeast Asia and beyond”. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma and India were part of the domino theory and they never became Communist! Win a war lose a war it’s still war. No one likes war but until people stop hating (anyone) and fix their own self war is inevitable and the warriors deserve our respect.

      • thetackfour says:

        They were never part of the Domino Theory.. The British had already fought the Communists in Malaysia and beat them.. India was never threatened and had it gone Communist it would have happened internally. Burma has been ruled by a cabal of generals for decades in defiance of the wishes of their people. We citizens are always admonished to respect the warrior but the warriors were badly led and badly used and wasted in Vietnam.. It was all for nothing and no amount of spin will change that.

      • Keith G says:

        The domino theory was accurate for its time, and this potential for
        major regional communist advances required the United States’ national
        strategy to oppose the spread of communism. Burma, Indonesia, Malaya,
        the Philippines (Huks), and India were all being courted or targeted by the
        communists. Your anti-American statements are nothing but emotional 60’s and 70’s “spin” and hogwash. I enlisted in the Navy in 1968 and became a Hospital Corpsman with the Marines and felt much the same as you at the time but fortunately I have matured since then as has the country.

      • thetackfour says:

        Keith, this is where you have misunderstood me.. I enlisted in 1966 (got out in 1970).. I was highly patriotic and felt ashamed of myself for not feeling as enthusiastic about freeing the Vietnamese as out parent’s generation felt about freeing the French. By the time I got to Vietnam in 1968 I learned the Ngo family literally owned South Vietnam and the CIA described their wealth as being “vast.” We were fighting for an oligarchical empire on the premise of keeping out the Communists. The domino theory by Eisenhower’s reasoning only included what was once called Indochina. Later alarmists included New Zeeland, Australia, Japan, Korea, Burma, India, and on it went. It was only a theory and had no validity. My maturity has come from reading what the war was about and what we thought we were going to accomplish and what we really did accomplish. Zip.. As far as this country maturing, I have to question that with war being a growth industry since 1993.. Even the Pentagon (DoD) has warned of the collapse of the American empire traced to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Their recommendation is more military spending but we have been spending on the military on a credit card for decades.. This isn’t 60’s spin but cold hard facts that most refuse to see..

      • Keith G says:

        How valid is your theory as to why we were in Vietnam because of the USs love of money (the oligarchy)? I agree with the idea of war on a credit card and the Big Brother “speak” used to try and hide it by separating military spending from the “Budget” but your original idea that we were there for strictly American Business doesn’t hold water unless the US government was duped by business as the coffers of government money dwindled during the Vietnam war. The communists were busy defending Vietnam for Communism at the cost of dollars, men (and women), resources and most importantly time that could have been used for building other communist regimes.

      • thetackfour says:

        Keith, you can’t build a communist regime if the people don’t want one. I never said we were in Vietnam for business but the end result was we made Vietnam safe for business was an attempt at sarcasm.. 58,000 dead so Nike can work Vietnamese at slave wages when Nike factories used to hire Americans in Oregon and Maine at a living wage. If that is seen as a positive then it was all worth it. The Vietnamese communist’s goal was reunification of Vietnam and in that they won. You see Communism through the eyes of the Cold War where it was this monolithic force but it was never that. Vietnam hated the Chinese and fought a war with them in 1974 where the Chinese got their butts handed to them but they did accept Chinese help in the “American War”, mostly in the transport of Russian made armaments. You see the war as worth all of our dead because countries that were never going to communist didn’t go communist but I see nothing but a massive waste. Vietnam did what we didn’t want them to do.. Laos did what we didn’t want them to do and so did Cambodia. It was an invasion of the Vietnamese that overturned Pol Pot in 1978 and because of that invasion, that we opposed, the Cambodians have their king back and the communists are gone.. That was one communist regime that was ousted by other communists.. Hardly a monolith..

      • Keith G says:

        War (police action?) is never “worth it”. I believe that you and I disagree mostly on existential grounds. I feel that humans are very fallible and on that ground I am willing to forgive and move on. Emotionally, people are still cavemen and unless we exorcise our own individual demons no positive change is available for humankind. I was not in country, however, I was in staging in Okinawa waiting on the edge of my seat to ship over and while there met (and partied with) a lot of vets who felt really bad about what they had to do. No amount of rationalizing will change that. I understand that unless I’ve “been there” I will not understand what you went through. With that being said I hope that more than anything you will forgive yourself for your perceived complicity in the Vietnam war. It was your Dharma and who the hell understands anything at the age of 18.


      • thetackfour says:

        And to you..

      • Bobloblaw67 says:

        “”Keith, you can’t build a communist regime if the people don’t want one””

        tell that to the Poles and Czechs

      • john maccallum says:

        Keith you speak in terms of duty and dharma yet you enlisted not out of patriotism but that you could serve under your own terms as opposed to Uncle Sam’s. The vast majority of we who volunteered did so in the same light, I couldn’t find suitable work, I wanted GI benefits, the judge gave me a choice, etc. Now that you have grown old you have turned it into a noble cause. We must always remember it is the old ones who make war and the young ones who foot the bill.

      • Keith G says:

        I was torn between patriotism and fear. I understand dharma as inevitable not as a choice. Duty to dharma is the choice. Thetackfour (to his credit) chose duty. I joined the Navy (choice) but ended up with the Marine Corps (in the Navy) as the result of dharma. I felt no duty to dharma. No noble cause. Just my view of reality after many years of suffering and healing unrelated to the Vietnam War.

      • Ape Labs says:

        Lots of criminals chose Vietnam over jail time. Glad I did not have to serve with them. I enlisted out of patriotism and continuing a 4 generation honor of serving our country. And, after I enlisted in Feb of 69, my draft number was 42. I actually got my draft notice while in boot camp.

      • john_willow says:

        Cut the bullshit about “anti-American” statements. You sound like a fascist. Every country you just mentioned is today a repressive regime. And none is communist. How strange. Like the U.S. used to prop up dictators, today it co-exists with bad actors all over the world. Some idealism.

      • Thomas McCaffrey says:

        But the biggest jewel of Southeast Asia, Thailand, was spared of communist domination.

      • thetackfour says:

        Thailand became an independent nation in 1238 and have never been ruled by a western power or anyone else.. Thailand was never threatened by outside communist forces. Had the Communist ever won in Thailand it would have been an internal revolt and there was no chance of that happening.. You can’t spin the Domino Theory as something worth 58,000 US dead and up to 2,000,000 Vietnamese dead. Vietnam is Communist but made safe for Coke, Pepsi, Apple, and all of the American companies wanting to escape paying a living wage to American citizens.. Maybe that’s the real domino theory..

      • BallStateFan says:

        On January 10th, 1972 a contingent of Vietnamese “sappers” attacked Utapo airbase and adjacent Army Camp Samea San.

        The effort was thwarted and only three B52’s were damaged. Those American bases were on the Gulf of Siam SE of Bangkok and were heavily involved in the war effort. Insurgent forces were fighting inside Thailand all along the borders with Laos and Cambodia by 1972 and somewhat prior.
        To say there was no threat in Thailand is incorrect albeit the Thai forces were strong and aided by US troops and air power.
        I know this to be factual as I was there and participated!

      • thetackfour says:

        The point was Thailand was never going to go Communist unless the Thais themselves wanted to go Communist. Fat chance of that happening. A bunch of sappers weren’t going to do it. A full-on invasion by the NVA wasn’t going to do it. I too had friends at U-Tapao, mostly with the Blackbirds..

      • BallStateFan says:

        I certainly agree that Thailand was well prepared to defend themselves.

        I also agree that there more than likely would have had to been a “massive movement” from within embracing communism and that was then and is today extremely unlikely.

        The Thai people have embraced their freedom for centuries and continue to have close relations with the US government/military and our citizens.

        Unfortunately things aren’t always “clear minded or in focus” when there are battles going on near you and your neighboring countries are either embracing communism or having it “forced down their throats”!

      • Joe Seamhead says:

        Robert MacNamara invented the Domino Theory and admitted as miuch in his mea culpa. It didn’t actually exist.

      • Keith G says:

        There’s a lot more to it than that. Check out this wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domino_theory

        One government official does not a theory destroy! example: “McGeorge Bundy argued that the prospects for a domino effect, though high in the 1950s and early 1960s, were weakened in 1965 when the Indonesian Communist Party was destroyed
        via CIA-supported death squads in the Indonesian Genocide. However,
        proponents believe that the efforts during the containment (i.e. Domino
        Theory) period ultimately led to the demise of the Soviet Union and the
        end of the Cold War.”

      • Doc Stevens says:

        Yes, it existed. Now, it is the Islamic Domino Theory. Iran has fallen. Spain has fallen. France, England, Canada are falling. Chechnya has fallen. Lebanon & Libya have fallen. Detroit has fallen. Minneapolis is falling. Guatemala has fallen.

      • CAgirl says:

        That doesn’t mean it wasn’t correct. Read a history book.

      • cynic says:

        Robert MacNamara is one of the most immoral cretins to ever sheit between two shoes. He got hundreds killed with his big business mentality.

      • William Lewis says:

        It was hog manure then and especially since the government of the Vietnam now is more democratic and less corrupt than the scum we were defending.

      • Keith G says:

        Can you predict how things would have turned out if the US hadn’t been there? Perhaps a more powerful Communist alliance that wouldn’t have been so soft on democracy there or any where else?

      • john_willow says:

        And communist. Other countries are no longer under the spell of the U.S. Invasions do not work.

      • Taos Joe says:

        The ” ONLY ” Thing the “DOMINO THEORY” Applys to In REALITY ARE Actual Dominos

      • Harry0 LA says:

        Bah humbug. This was a fabricated practice exercise to benefit certain corps.
        Huuge amounts of taxpayer money went over there thru vetted vendors.
        We could have “won” at anytime, if we wanted, if we weren’t really fighting the entire indigent population, or we didn’t support a right wing intolerant corrupt regime. It was just a steady part time job to distract the Americans. Like Afghanistan after the Russians? Are we really winning anything?
        Did we forget that “the bad guy” had just saved his country, as our beloved ally. thru WW2? Or that he finally kicked the post war French colonial invaders out? And THAT’s when we came in- when we thought we could do this war ravaged country easy. Anybody really check their economy and system after we left?
        It was also to entrain policies into the American psyche: “My Country- Right or Wrong”. “No Job- Join the Service!”. “Dissent = Disloyalty”. “Capitalism = Democracy”. “Compliance = Freedom”. and “Indigents = Insurgents”.
        *WE* MAKE the “Domino Theory” happen. If it wasn’t for our interference in Vietnam- there would have been no need for Russian assistance. If it wasn’t for our interference in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan- Isis and Taliban would be minor players. The friends, neighbors and relatives of the innocents we kill {“acceptable” collateral damage!) become our enemies.
        Imagine if Trumplestiltskin had taken that big “defense” boost towards health and education fpr Americans! Too bad the 49% don’t matter.

      • Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez says:

        The domino theory did exist, it was happening in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Unfortunately Vietnam was also treated as communist expansion when it reality it was not per se. We were I think the 4th nation trying to defeat them in 1000 years, different intentions, however, not necessary. Short version, we (Truman) backed the French to keep the communists out of western Europe after ww2. The French wanted to keep French Indochina. Ho had reached out to the US for help, Truman did not respond. Vietnam had also helped the US with problems in the region during ww2 with the Japanese. First we aided the French effort to keep the region financially, then aid to SV, then advisers and you know the rest.
        We owed them gratitude for help in ww2, not a war.

      • hrwolfe says:

        After the fall of Saigon something like 13 Country’s fell to the Communists, it happened. All that sacrifice was wasted by a Congress. Many Iraqi Veterans said they now understood how Vietnam Veterans felt in 75 when Obama bugged out.

      • Dan Crocker says:

        Thank you for your service. Unlike Jeffy, you apparently didn’t have the coward DNA in you.

      • thetackfour says:

        It took courage for Jeffery to stand up for what he believed as I was simply sweep up in events that I had no control over.. I went wherever the tide took me.. Jeffery made a conscious decision to control his own life and I didn’t.. The day I was sworn in the recruiting office was packed with all of the service branches including Army draftees. An officer came out and demanded “volunteers” for the Marines and not one hand went up so he yanked close to a dozen of the Army draftees out of line and forced them to enlist in the Marines.. I saw this with my own eyes and not some BS rumor. I think that was illegal but when you’re 19 and someone with authority yells, you jump. I wonder how many of those kids made it home alive? Just prior to that the Army draftees were yelling about killing VC and acting like asses but when it came down joining a force that was a guarantee of hard combat every mouth went silent. That Marine officer singled out all of the loudmouths and everyone of the loudmouths looked liked they were going to cry when shoved into the line for Parris Island.. It wasn’t courage that made us go but fear.. Fear of running afoul of the law.. Fear of being called a coward and in many cases by people who were totally exempt from being called up or were some rear echelon job beyond any worry about being killed unless they drank too much.. I was in a number of actions and saw upfront and in my face all I ever want to see ever again and what I learned was we were lied to, badly used, and all for nothing.. I also learned to never call another human being a coward because until you stand in those shoes no one has the right to judge another human being..

      • bikemania says:

        To the contrary, I lost nothing, The gullible people who wanted to keep supporting a corrupt South Vietnamese regime are the ones who lost, squandering thousands of American lives and wasting billions in tax dollars and payment to multi-national banks in interest. And we were never going to get the offshore oil concessions, either. You seem very ignorant of American and world history. You contribute to America NOT being great.

    • HammerSix says:

      Yet you remain in such a horrible country!? The hubris! You bask in the freedoms we have in this country secured by those who served. Whether you agreed with it or not, it was your duty as an American citizen–a duty that you were willing to shirk, and a citizenship that you do not deserve.

  123. Ron Parks says:

    I joined the US NAVY in August 1969. My draft # for May 5th was 364… there was just one number higher (365)… but I always intended to serve anyway. There were a bunch of people who would really liked to have had my number!

  124. Mike D says:

    Interesting. About 15 years before I was born, but looks like I wouldn’t have been drafted with a number of 356 (same as Trump).

    • Mark Muffs says:

      Trump still had to dodge the draft from 1964 to 1969. After the lottery, he was safe

  125. John Amen says:

    I have a question: I’m editing a lit mag and this issue will feature “war” poetry. “War” is to be interpreted loosely but several pieces do indeed address it literally. A few of the poems are by vets. There’s a poem we’re considering (not by a vet, as far as I can tell) in which the poet refers to the 1969 lottery as involving “white ping pong” balls instead of blue capsules. As editors, we understand that people take liberties, etc., but given the theme of the issue and how obviously serious the matter is, how would this strike some of you, esp. those of you who were drafted in this lottery or otherwise served? Would the inaccuracy be offensive?

  126. Jon McDowell says:

    #132, but I was already done basic training at Lackland AFB TX and Medical Supply School at Sheppard AFB TX by December 1, 1969.

  127. john robel says:


  128. Marsha Linn says:

    “The people who voted for that mess should have been the first to serve in it – that would have ended it quickly.” AMEN Holds true today.

    • Keith G says:

      Some folks are born made to wave the flag
      Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
      And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
      Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no
      Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
      Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
      But when the taxman comes to the door
      Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no
      Yeah, yeah
      Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
      Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
      And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
      Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! y’all
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, one
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no no no
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, no no no

      Songwriters: John C. Fogerty

  129. NoNonsense11 says:

    So don’t hate me but I just wanted to make a quick comment. I’ve been following this thread for a long time and it strikes me that there is a lot of room here for a huge range of emotions. The Vietnam War, no matter which political side you took, was a wrenching and terrible era. A lot of people got hurt and are still hurting today. I’m kind of rambling but I just wanted to say that I don’t think that we should be too surprised if somebody needs to vent and I think it would be really cool to respect their need for that and give them the benefit of the doubt that they probably have good days and bad days. I’m pretty sure anybody who had to brush up close to that very raw time of our history has come away with a real need for compassion.

    • Keith G says:

      Dude, exactly my sentiments! I’m glad that someone else has grown up.

    • thetackfour says:

      Insightful.. My grandfather, a Sgt., was in France in WW1 and one day we got talking about trench warfare and the day he lost men and the pain in his voice made clear the memories were as fresh 68 years later as the day it happen in 1918.. These things get burned into a psyche as deep as any branding iron into flesh..

  130. cliffintex says:

    39 was my number. Lol – I went. That war didn’t have anything with America’s safety. It was a proxy war between the US, China & the USSR. Nonetheless, we should have been better treated when we returned. We answered the call. The friggin’ VFW wouldn’t let me join when I first returned.

  131. Patti Rizzo says:

    I was glued to the TV that day with 4 or 6 friends over, and had predicted that my birthday would be drawn. It got a lot of laughs. But the room fell silent when that’s exactly what happened..they drew Sept 14, my birthday. Eerily, ironically, my son, who was 14 1/2 months old at the time, was born on my birthday, September 14, 1968. My family and I lost a lot of friends in that wretched war, and many more came home forever changed, and hardly recognizable as the persons they were before. I thank them for what they sacrificed to serve our country. Their intent was pure. It was not their fault that it turned out the way it did. Time has told the story, and that story should never be forgotten, and never repeated. Much love to all who served in Vietnam, and I do mean ALL of you. To those who chose not to go, I respect your decision. Only those who had daddy’s political influence, money and family ties to get them out of it deserve the shunning we gave them then, and to this day.

  132. Taos Joe says:

    Drew #12..Tried TO ENLIST Navy/Air Force/ But Had Probation for Mary Jane for 3 yrs Soooo Was Denied By All…. Father Career Military Soo Canada Was Nooooo Option , Woulda Sunk Him & *ucked whole family(denied Promos & Forced Out) Sooooooooo I was advised by allllllllll the Anti-Draft Services Available in 60’s & 70’s WHEN I went In for the Pre-Induct Physical..all butt naked in line …..to keep fondling the Naked Butt of the Dude in Front While Playing with my johnson…..Hell !!!!! A Much Better Option than My Head Blown off FOR Richard Nixon…. That WAS the PLAN & Girl Friend & A .Coupla Gay Friends were coming with so to photo that Scene…………..HOWEVER NIXON Ended the Draft for Vietnam (except for Volunteers) A coupla weeks before my Draft Notice was due to be Mailed Out…..Kinda Phucked to Kinda Owe Nixon A Favor..Huh ??????….Sent That to Hunter Thompson & Got a signed Gonzo Bk

    • Jack says:

      They did right by refusing you for marijuana. Did not sell tampons you moron. This world would be a better place if asshats like you would have been on your mommy’s used tampon. You need to doo more research in the draft….

  133. Marilynn Neher Bachorik says:

    My birthday, June 8, drew #366. How I wished I could trade dates with a dear friend who drew #24.

  134. Zoe Kirk says:

    Would’ve gotten 016…yikes. Then again, I’m a woman, so I technically wouldn’t have pulled anything.

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