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December 18, 2009 [ More archived home pages here ]

Draft Notice 1969


The above image, Ying, Yang, and You is also available as a Desktop Background

Today's song is King of Nothing by Seals and Crofts, released in 1974.

The Vietnam War had a way of infecting every American's life during the 1960's and 1970's. If you were a male of draft age you were exposed to the harsh reality of making choices concerning life-or-death, perhaps someone else's, perhaps your own life-or-death. That war divided my nation more than any other in my lifetime, even today's wars for Americans are less controversial.

My teenage years of being 18 and 19 years old were the times I felt the most anxiety over the Vietnam War. At that time in my nation, the U.S. Military wanted 19 year olds at a voracious rate. We have The Wall in Washington D.C., that has the names of those men and women who died in Vietnam. Some of my friends from high school are on that wall, struck down at age 21 or less.

I tried to avoid the draft by attending college, but I didn't pass my first year. I almost joined the Air Force along with my best friend, Angel, in August 1969 because I knew once I lost by 2S deferment, I was meat for the draft. Then the first Draft Lottery became an option to take men into the service whether they wanted to go or not.

That first lottery was not fair because of the way it was conducted. Ironic that that due to that unfairness I won the only lottery I ever didn't enter by choice. My birthday was selected number 32, a certainty to be drafted. Fortunately for all the other friends I had at the time, they never got low numbers and were safe from harm by that method. I was happy for them. I knew my days were numbered before I would be called.

My lucky day arrived on Christmas Eve in 1969. There in the mailbox was my winning ticket to report to the Selective Service in January for forced involuntary servitude of up to two years. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

In order to end-run the Draft, avoid a war I hated, yet serve my nation honorably I voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves in January 1970. As it turned out, I'm alive to write the history of my life since my time in the Navy.

Some unlucky person went to Vietnam in my place. I hope they came back home alive and healthy. I still feel a certain amount of guilt for not allowing myself to be drafted into the Army or Marines. I know I didn't send that person to Vietnam, President Nixon did that act to them. Still, nothing productive could have resulted in my being drafted and serving in Vietnam. After-all, the brave men and women who did go, did their best with an unwinable fought war. History has the results of Americas failure in that venture it never had any business being involved in any case.

Of course I can never know if my replacement died in Vietnam and whose name is on The Wall, is missing or sustained lifetime injuries over there. Sometimes the thought of that real possibility still bothers me, every Christmas Eve.

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This award for Apple doesn't surprised me a bit.

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This oversight by Al Gore doesn't surprise me a bit.

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The job hunt for so many people is very hard right now.

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Want to know about masking in PhotoShop?

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Using Fink, as opposed to being one.

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Never misjudge a parking space again.

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My friend, Bob, sent me this referenced YouTube link explaining why the Swiss are so safe from crime.

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Found on the web links for December 17, 2009 [ Link since removed ]

Don


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