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.