From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
I almost served. In my senior year of high school, 1969-1970, I took and passed with flying colors the NROTC exam, thereby qualifying me for a four-year full college scholarship and subsequent service in the US Navy (of course). But then being near-sighted as I was, I failed the eye exam! So lost the NROTC opportunity.
Still itching to serve, I briefly considered joining the US Army, but opted again instead for the Navy. I got as far as taking the basic aptitude tests and the pre-induction physical exam. I nearly flunked the basic aptitude test! ("What is this [pictured] tool used for? And so on.) "WTF?!" I thought. On the one hand, the Navy thinks I am officer material. On the other hand, the Navy thinks I am a dolt. What kind of BS outfit is this? I realized I probably wouldn't obey stupid orders well.
Then I read a Life Magazine article about a Vietnam veteran returning home with his face bashed in. I chickened out, and went off to college like most of my peers.
As a college freshman in autumn 1970, my Draft Lottery number was ~330 IIRC. Meaning I had zero chance of being called to service. (Ironic that I, a war supporter, was draft-safe while my anti-war classmates nearly all had low lottery numbers. None of them were called anyway, since by then the War was winding down (Vietnamization etc.) and inductions were dwindling.)
But I still had the itch to go to Southeast Asia. In early 1978 I scratched that itch by joing the US Peace Corps (hah! the irony!), serving as PCV in the Philippines 1978-1981. During that tour, out in the field, I came into close contact with Maoist Philippine New Peoples Army guerillas on more than one occasion.
I regret never having served in the military. (It's on my Bucket List to tour Southeast Asia and Vietnam in particular.) But then I think of my (Filipina) wife and kids, and All's Well That Ends Well.
< Message edited by berto -- 11/12/2019 5:44:11 PM >