photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Roger Nordstrom | all galleries >> Service to My Country >> Vietnam 1970-1971: A Grunt Remembers >> Induction > 'Greetings' from the President of the United States
previous | next

'Greetings' from the President of the United States

It all begins with this letter. 'Greetings' from the President of the United States. This was the first of many orders that I would receive over the next two years.

It was 1969 and I was continuing my education at Santa Ana Community college with a 2-S, student, deferment. In the spring of that year I contracted mononucleosis. 'Mono' laid me up for some time and I had to drop out of my classes for that semester. Of course Uncle Sam was keeping a watchful eye on the draft age boys. As soon as I was no longer taking classes my 2-S classification quickly changed to 1-A, prime picking.

The Vietnam War was in full swing and the military was actively drafting. You had heard about this 'Greetings' letter from the president that would signal the end of your civilian days. With a 1-A classification each days mail was met with anticipation and fear.

The year went on and at some point the Selective Service announced that they would hold a lottery drawing to determine the order of induction for 1970. The order of induction was to be by birth date. On December 1, 1969 the first lottery drawing was conducted since 1942. My birth date is January 19 and January 19 was the 58th ball to be pulled.

That pretty much sealed it. My classification was 1-A, my lottery number was 58 and the military was actively drafting. It was just a matter of time. The 'Greetings' came on January 28, 1970, shortly after my 20th birthday. I had three weeks to get my affairs in order and report for induction into the United States military.

other sizes: small medium large original auto
previous | next
comment | share
Guest 06-Mar-2020 00:23
I went through a similar experience on December 1, 1970. I was 19 that year. It really counted. In 1969 I was celebrating because my birthday was March 12th and my draft number was 336. In 1970, when it really meant something my birthday stayed the same but my draft number was 24. I received my GREETINGS letter on December 24, 1970.
For those sharp english majors who caught the Greeting invitation instead of Greetings, we could have called that letter many different names. Be glad we called it a Greetings letter from the President of the United States or POTUS as we see today.
Guest 11-Dec-2016 02:41
No, it started: "Greeting", not "Greetings".
Guest 14-Jan-2016 14:56
The salutation is "GREETING" not GREETINGS. How sterile, cold is that?