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

(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 14, 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.

154 Responses

    • Ken

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

      Reply
    • Rob

      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?

      Reply
      • Dan

        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!”

  1. John Chalus 359

    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.

    Reply
  2. Scott L Powell

    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.

    Reply
  3. Dennis M. Rog

    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.

    Reply
  4. Harry G. Reeder

    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.

    Reply
  5. Ron Buchnat

    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.

    Reply
  6. SFC Howard C Hudson (Ret)

    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!

    Reply
  7. chas b pfeiffer, sp4

    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,

    Reply
  8. Michael LaLone

    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.

    Reply
  9. Warner DeFord

    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.

    Reply
    • Dr. Jerry

      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.

      Reply
      • Susan Shaw

        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

        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

        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!

      • Bart

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

  10. Benjamin Parks

    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.

    Reply
    • Katie Nielsen

      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:)
      Katie
      10th grader, IA

      Reply
      • Jen

        Katie,
        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.

  11. John Zoomie

    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.

    Reply
    • Susan Shaw

      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…

      Reply
  12. Mike Jett

    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.

    Reply
  13. Jimbo 256

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

    Reply
    • rich

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

      Reply
    • Dan

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

      Reply
    • Rich

      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.

      Reply
    • Kerry

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

      Reply
    • Mark

      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.

      Reply
    • kristie07

      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.

      Reply
      • Dave

        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”

  14. Jolyn

    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.

    Reply
  15. Shelly

    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!

    Reply
  16. rich

    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.

    Reply
  17. rich

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

    Reply
  18. Mike

    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.”

    Reply
    • Chris

      Great point, Mike. Nothing like a chickenhawk. Truly a fascinating breed.

      Reply
  19. Kelly

    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!

    Reply
    • RG

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

      Reply
    • Righteous Robert

      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.
      THUGS.

      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

      Reply
  20. Phil Edwards

    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.

    Reply
    • Cindy Rierson

      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.

      Reply
  21. Mike

    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.

    Reply
  22. Gene

    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!

    Reply
  23. Dale

    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.

    Reply
  24. Patty

    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?

    Reply
    • Steve

      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.

      Reply
  25. Roger

    In 1969 my birthday was 277.

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

    I was drafted in 1971

    Reply
  26. robert

    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!!!!!

    Reply
  27. Mike Jett

    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.

    Reply
  28. Brian Kramer

    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?

    Reply
  29. Al Hubbard

    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.

    Reply
  30. Number 107 in 1970

    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.

    Reply
  31. Number 107 in 1970

    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.

    Reply
    • Dave

      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?

      Reply
    • RG

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

      Reply
  32. Sandy Clemens

    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.

    Reply
    • richie

      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.

      Reply
      • OncleWillie

        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

      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.

      Reply
  33. First Lottery #195

    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.

    Reply
  34. Number 51

    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!!)

    Reply
    • Dave

      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.

      Reply
      • Tom 51

        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.

  35. Cleatus

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

    Reply
  36. Mike

    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.

    Reply
  37. Joe

    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.

    Reply
  38. joe.h

    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.

    Reply
  39. GC

    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.

    Reply
    • Dave

      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?

      Reply
  40. Dave

    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.

    Reply
    • Glenda Farrow

      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.

      Reply
  41. Jim #47

    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.

    Reply
  42. Lloyd #238

    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.

    Reply
  43. Lloyd #238

    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 –

    Reply
    • Sebastian

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

      Reply
  44. Al

    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.

    Reply
  45. Randy

    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.

    Reply
  46. Tom Dulaney

    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.

    Reply
  47. Roy

    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.

    Reply
    • Wes Abney

      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: twalker@partisanpictures.com.

      Reply
  48. bobcobb33

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

    Reply
  49. Don Schroeder

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

    Reply
  50. David

    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.

    Reply
  51. Mike Miller

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

    Reply
  52. Sp4 Davis

    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.

    Reply
  53. Dave

    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?

    Reply
  54. Mike #63

    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.

    Reply
  55. david

    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.

    Reply
  56. Jay

    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.

    Reply
  57. Adrian Winchester

    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?

    Reply
  58. Michael Haskins

    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.

    Reply
  59. Joey #332

    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.

    Reply
  60. george

    \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.

    Reply
  61. Rick

    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.

    Reply
  62. Ed Savage

    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.

    Reply
  63. Joe

    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.

    Reply
  64. jon

    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.

    Reply
  65. steve

    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.

    Reply
  66. Barry

    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.

    Reply
  67. Fred

    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.

    Reply
  68. Fred

    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.

    Reply
  69. Bill

    # 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.

    Reply
    • #330 in 1970

      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!

      Reply
      • richie

        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.

  70. Baltimore Bob

    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

    Reply
  71. T. Furman

    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!

    Reply
  72. Jake Lydey

    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.

    Reply
    • dnewbold

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

      Reply
    • mike

      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’.

      Reply
      • T Lewis

        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

  73. Virginia Jim

    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.

    Reply
  74. buddy Doug

    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.

    Reply
  75. Righteous Robert

    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

    Reply
    • Mike

      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!

      Reply
  76. Jumping Joe

    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.

    Reply
    • Righteous Robert

      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

      Reply
  77. John Olson

    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.

    Reply
  78. Righteous Robert

    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

    Reply
  79. Randy Anglin

    #1-9/14/1949
    Joined Army Reserves after College 1972

    Reply
    • Wes Abney

      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: twalker@partisanpictures.com.

      Reply
  80. Tom DeBor

    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.

    Reply
  81. Baltimore Bob

    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

    Reply
    • Tom DeBor

      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.

      Reply
  82. Mark Wheeler

    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.

    Reply
  83. Righteous Robert

    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

    Reply
  84. Righteous Robert

    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.

    Reply
    • Roy

      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
      https://www.sss.gov/LOTTER8.HTM

      Reply
      • Righteous Robert

        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

  85. #330 IN 1970

    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!

    Reply
  86. Tom DeBor

    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.

    Reply
  87. Righteous Robert

    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.

    Reply
  88. Ed

    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.

    Reply
  89. Glenda Farrow

    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

    Reply
  90. Righteous Robert

    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

    Reply
  91. Dave

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

    I guess you had to be there?

    Reply
  92. Bob

    I enlisted in the U.S NAVYfor 2yrs. in dec.69 in senior yr high school@17.went 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!!

    Reply
  93. Tom DeBor

    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.

    Reply
  94. Tom DeBor

    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!

    Reply
  95. Roberto Uresti

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

    Reply
    • Leo

      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.

      Reply
  96. Tony

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

    Reply

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