The American Enterprise

The incident at Mountain Charlie's.(personal narrative of naval officer)

TUCSON, ARIZONA -- In 1972, I was part of the last military draft. A Teletype machine was set up in the student union at the University of Buffalo, where I was enrolled, and lottery numbers were posted as they were pulled. A room full of 19-year-olds awaited their fate. I got number 364: I didn't have to worry about being drafted.

But the next summer I joined the Navy anyway. All of my friends thought I was crazy, stupid, and ignorant. What a waste of a perfectly good draft number.

I became a radar operator for P-3 aircraft, went to the Philippines, and flew over Vietnam doing reconnaissance. I was there for the evacuation in 1976, and kept track of the desperate boat-people fleeing Vietnam. …

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