Draft dodging (multiple responses)

Tue, 16 Feb 1999 11:04:20 -0500


From: Tony Edmonds <00aoedmonds@bsuvc.bsu.edu>
Subject: Re: Draft Dodgeing

> My name is Jeff Norton and I attend the University of Minnesota. I am in
>a class studying the sixties, and I was wondering what kind of things
>people did to dodge the draft? I would also like to know if anyone on the
>list knew someone who did, or actually dodged the draft themselves.

I think the best book on the draft and its "evaders" is Baskir and Strauss,
__Chance and Circumstance__ (Knopf, 1978). Does anyone know of a better

Tony Edmonds
Ball State University


From: Dick Hill <DHill@cu-portland.edu>
Subject: RE: Draft Dodgeing


I'm sure many people will comment on your use of the phrase "draft dodging,"
which is demeaning in its identification of people as evading civic

Most (the vast majority) who felt strongly enough about the war to seek
alternatives did not feel that they were "dodging" anything. They risked
jail, isolation, and other recriminations.

Beyond that, you'll hear lots of good stories I'm sure. People went to
Canada (or Sweden), they dropped out of normal routines (including paying
taxes, often working at low paying or under the table jobs), they went to
trial and jail.

Good luck in your hunt.

Dick Hill



From: Paul.Lauter@mail.cc.trincoll.edu
Subject: Re: Draft Dodgeing

Check out Tuli Kupferberg's "1001 Ways to Beat the Draft." As absurd as
some of Tuli's numbers are, I'll bet that there were at least a couple of
guys who tried it--or something close.
Still (and more? seriously), the primary ways had to do with
claiming c.o. status, going to Canada, stretching physical disabilities
into 4-F, flaunting gayness, and rejecting the whole mess and, if
necessary, going to jail. p.



From: "benjamin backberg" <back0089@tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Questions about the Vietnam Draft???

Hello, my name Ben Backberg, I am a student at the University of
Minnesota, my e-mail adress is back0089@tc.umn.edu. I am in a 1960's
writing class. The focus of my final paper is the Vietnam Draft. Any
information that I could recieve on these questions would be very helpful
to me:

1) Are there any members, that dodged the Vietnam War, and went to Canada,
or fleed the United States? And if so why did you make that descision?

2) Are there any members, who were active protestors against the Vietnam
War? If so, what were your reasonings, and where did you protest?

3) Are there any members, who fought in the Vietnam War? And, why did you
decide to fight in the war?

4) After living for over twenty years since the Vietnam War, are there any

4) After living for over twenty years since the Vietnam War, are there any
things that you regret about your decision about what you did when your
number was called in the draft?

Thank you very much for your time and responses, I am sure that they will
be very helpful in assisting me on my paper.


From: Sorrento95@aol.com
Subject: Re: Draft Dodging

In a message dated 99-02-11 14:12:17 EST, Jeff writes:

>My name is Jeff Norton and I attend the University of
>Minnesota. I am in a class studying the sixties, and I
>was wondering what kind of things people did to dodge
>the draft?

This might have actually happened in 1970, but it still
qualifies as a "sixties" story.

No one will be able to top this story.

Once I knew a guy named Ralph who was really upset
when he got his notice to take a pre-induction physical.

There was another guy named Jack, a long-term antiwar
activist who also dabbled in draft counseling.

Ralph had a way of getting on Jack's nerves as he kept
pestering him to save him from the draft.

Finally Jack lost his patience, threw up his hands in
despair, and said, "You wanna guaranteed way to beat
the draft? Then drink your urine sample !"

Well, guess what? That's exactly what Ralph did at the
pre-induction physical.

And you know what? They IV-F'ed him.

I'm not kidding. This really happened.

-- Michael Wright
(soon to be the author of STRANGE TALES FROM THE 60s)


From: drieux@wetware.com (drieux)
Subject: Re: Draft Dodgeing

Given the Current Political Climate it would be useful to attempt to
differenciate the 'forms' of "Draft Dodging" - since there were

1. Draft Dodgers
2. Draft Resisters
3. War Resisters
4. Persons With Political Potential that would need Cover.

If you read through the various 'biographies' of Rush Limbaugh, he dodged
on at least one of upwards of Three Variations on a Theme, and most likely
one of them May be Truthfulish. Gnewt Gingrich Worked the Grad School Game,
as did Clinton - but these were clearly catagory 4 'draft dodgers' - who
might not be your 'primary' concern..... And like so many of the Interns who
would find safe haven as Political Hacks during the Vietnam War, there were
ways to get one's self a Decent Cover Story. Heck, worst of all one could join
the National Guard, either on one's own merit, or though family connections.

There was a paperback book, 1,001 ways to dodge the draft.

Unfortunately one of my contacts tried the Gambit of getting INTO the military
and getting attached in the Finance Section - one of the options listed, BUT
he got shipped to vietnam anyway.... even though there were so Few In Country.

The Coast Guard was another Safe Haven, most of the time....

There were also 'friendly officers' who would do what they could to keep
personnel who did not wish to go to vietnam OUT of vietnam if they could,
or at least Screw Up the paperwork as long as they could. One of my multi-tour
ossifer friends had a habit of shipping kids around the paper in one direction
and their paper in another..... with the hope that by the time the military
cleared up the screw up - there might not be enough time left in the kid's
'active duty time' for them to ship the kid off for 365 and a Wake Up.

A Lot of G.I. Brats registered with 'board 100' overseas, and just never
updated their registration when they got CONUS.... so they were registered
they just were not fully compliant.... Dodge?????

Let's see..... G. Opted to work for Peace Corp,
and wound up in the Bangladesh War as a side effect.
But since he Really WAS Gay, he could have been exempted
as a 'practicing homosexual' - but that 'out' was not always
a safe bet, even for homosexuals.

The DODDSS - Department of Defense Dependent School System was full
of bright young 'liberal' White Heterosexual males who found that they
could do their 'national service' teching on Military Posts around the
world rather than going to the front line.....

Then there was the guy I knew who Got a 4-F because he dropped out of
working for a Prestigeous Private Academe to 'bum around europe' and
upon returning to America his draft board turned him 4-F because he
was clearly not mentally Competent.... but he was sound enough to
teach G.I. Brats - Go Figure.

Some folks did the 'fail to register to graduate' routine, and as such
were racking up undergrad credits to retain their 2-S status, without
having to worry about filing for Grad School. This got shutdown at a
few colleges - one of my Corpsmen contacts got the Note from the Dean
that given as he had WELL OVER the required limit, they were going to
'graduate him' - and the next day he had the Draft Notice...

If you read David Harris' book - the Draft Resisters actually HAD to work
at the process of getting BUSTED to protest the process and/or the war, since
many of them were elligible for one or more exemptions from the War....

So first off you will need to resolve which 'term' you really mean when
you use the phrase 'Draft Dodgeing'.