Student Deferments, etc. (fwd)

Fri, 5 Jan 1996 16:33:51 -0500 (EST)

Sender: Steve Vlahovic <>
Subject: Student Deferments, etc.

At 09:41 AM 1/4/96 -0500, you wrote:
>Although this is all from memory, I'll bet a tidy sum I'm very close to
>completely accurate on dates and so on.
>Student deferements continued in effect until the institution of the lottery,
>the first drawing for which was in early 1970 (possibly late 1969).
>Therefore, those who had entered school as late as 1969 with a student
>deferment were protected from the draft until normal graduation in 1973, by
>which time all American troops were withdrawn. Those unfortunate enough to
>have a low lottery number in 1970 could conceivably have come to the top of
>the draft roles, been called up, trained and shipped off to Vietnam by
>mid-1971; it's highly unlikely that anyone tagged by the lottery could have
>gotten there sooner. Look at the casualty figures from mid-1971 onward.

When I graduated from HS in '68 the big question circulating among
the seniors was not, "Are you going to college?" but rather, "Which college
are you going to?" This would give credence to the assumption that the 2-S
deferment was a legal, albeit unfair, means of avoiding the draft. People
went whether they really wanted to or not.
In the fall of '69 I was attending my third semester of college,
working part-time at the Playboy Club/Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and
pledging a fraternity. This is when the first drawing took place. I
remember comparing numbers with my pledge brothers. My birth date was drawn
on the 88th pick. Although I had a 2-S deferment that would have carried me
through to the end of my graduation I left school at the end of that
semester, volunteering for the draft instead of waiting for the induction
notice in the mail. I was inducted into the Army on Jan 19, 1970 and served
in Vietnam in 1971 with the 101st Airborne Division as an infantry medic. I
first spent eight months with the 82'd Airborne before going to Vietnam. Of
the 240 men in my graduating medic class, all but seven of us were sent to
Vietnam in May-June of '70.
My same age cousin had a number in the three-hundreds as did my
brother. They sent me a picture postcard of a scantily clad young beauty
when they visited the French Riviera that I received in my mail while I was
humping in the jungles of I Corps. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled,
yet, I still showed everyone the card. My but the tongues hung out.
Although the lottery was a more just way of inducting young men into
the military is was too little too late.

Co. D, 2/502'd Inf., 101st Airborne Div. (ambl), '71
"I assume full responsibility for any
harm that may come to them."
-- Bill Clinton, 11/27/95