a little less drafty today
I grew up in a time when the draft was very present in our lives. I had a selective service registration (draft) card in 1974, when I turned 18. Since my eighth birthday, 1,857,304 American teenagers had been drafted, many being sent to serve in Vietnam.
When I count all of the many blessings in my life, I have, in recent years, neglected the relief it was when my birthday came up as 344 (of, I believe, 365) on March 12, 1975 for the 1976 induction year. By 1973, when I was 17, all the high school juniors I knew knew that the war was lost, and was winding down to the helicopter evacuation from the embassy roof. We knew then that our older brothers and neighbours were probably the last to be drafted. But most were still wary, and those with a lower number in the lottery were the most skittish. Even had the call-ups been resumed, in my freshman year at college, I knew I was in less danger than most.
here is a table of selective service call-ups by year.
As the father of two sons growing closer to draftable ages, at a rate that seems to be accelerating as a function of my own increasing awareness of looming geezerdom, let's not go down that road again.