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Old 02-17-2015, 03:55 PM
OffByOne OffByOne is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 676
When I started college, I was asked by some group if I wanted to sign up for a college deferment. I was only 17 at the time, so I dismissed it and never thought about it again.

Until I got that letter from Uncle Sam, telling me to be at the county courthouse steps at X:00 in the morning on such and such a date. I went to my doctor to get a paper that said that he had treated me for back problems. That was going to be how I did not end dead in Viet Nam.

Just about a week before I was due to be inspected, injected, and see-lected, I had my wisdom teeth extracted. In the hospital. With full anesthetic (and five-part harmony). After the surgery, they gave me some pain pills, but I couldn't swallow them. (My throat was so sore from (apparently) swallowed blood, that I could not even swallow the mushroom bits in a can of mushroom soup!)

So, after too little sleep, off I go to take my draft physical, clutching my doctor's note tightly in my fist. Wondering who I'm supposed to give it to, so they can let me go.

I was sure that my lack of sleep meant that I was going to fail the hearing test. We had already been warned, however, that if anyone failed that test, they would take it again and again, until they either passed, or failed with the exact same score as their other failures.

Finally, I got to see the doctor that would look at my doctor's note. He glanced at it, and then gave it back to me, with barely a "Hmmph!" I started to lose hope -- if he didn't care about my back problems, well, that was it, then, wasn't it?

No, since he also had all of the information about me that had been collected from the beginning of the examination. "We cannot make your glasses in the Army." What? That threw me for a bit. I almost blurted out, "But I can bring a spare pair!" But I shut my mouth, and just sucked it up.

During the ride back to the county courthouse, we learned that of the three busses that transferred us back and forth, two now held newly disqualified examinees.

A short time later, I received my 1-Y deferment.

That was in June. In September, President Nixon went on TV to participate in the first ever Selective Service System lottery. Guess what birthdate he picked first? Mine! Guess what initial letter of last names he picked. Mine! (You're getting good at guessing!).

So, I expected to get another letter indicating that they'd like to have another shot at me. Instead, I got a letter explaining how they had gotten rid of the 1-Y classification, and that now I was considered 4-F.

I did experience fallout over the 4-F classification, however. During a job interview, I was asked to explain how I came to have the classification. I gave a complete and accurate description, but I could tell that they no longer considered me as a viable candidate.