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Crowdance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:06 PM
Original message
Anyone remember the last draft?
I overheard talking heads predicting that additional troops would be sent to Iraq. The question: where are they coming from? The answer: a likely draft.

During Vietnam, how did one qualify for an educational deferment? I have a 16-year-old girl, and believe that if a draft is instituted, they'll be calling girls as well as boys. The entire draft is unfair, but I expect a suit to ensure girls are treated with equal unfairness.

So, planning ahead, did enrollment in a 4-year college for undergraduate work qualify? How about post-graduate enrollment? Or should I be mapping that route to Canada?
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Their present plans are to use troops already in the service....
But to change the job descriptions of a lot of "support troops" to meet the needs.
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uptohere Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. they'll never draft girls
they won't institute a draft either. Have to be 18 to get drafted. College would get you out.

This is not a reasonable fear.
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. I think AWOL was the out
or moving to Canada. It was a lottery based on birthdate and they drew the numbers. Those with the lowest numbers went; higher numbers got out of it. Many afraid of ending up in Vietnam, enlisted to avoid going to Vietnam like my brother did.

If you have a serious health problem they won't take you or a psychiatric problem. Otherwise, unless you are a bonafide "conscientious objector" (like because you are a Jehovah's Witness, etc.) it is difficult to get out of it.

I think many did manage to stay out of the Vietnam war if they were in college. However, my memory is faint on this particular aspect. If you are seriously worried about getting drafted, sometimes *choke* enlisting is a way out of a perhaps horribe destiny, for those drafted are the ones that truly have no choice about where to go and who to sign-up with.

I do believe a draft will become because there is no real support for this so called war. If I was a young man, I'd be exploring all options and reading some of the anti-war books of the Vietnam era. I remember serving as a draft counselor briefly during this time and it was a pretty sad situation to be honest with you.

I often wonder if those that left at that time ever came back.

Best of luck to you in any event.


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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. the lottery came late in the war
or relatively so. As for conscience objector status, it was very difficult to get but not impossible. My atheist hubby got one after he'd been in for 2 years.

Deferments changed (as I recall) as the war went on. Student deferments were fairly easy to get early on but later you had to have a certain grade point and carry a full load and be in a discipline considered important. (We don't need no stinking philosophers with their stupid ethics training!)
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. you've got it right
yes, you are right!

You've jarred my memory here and yes, it was easy at first to get the student deferments, but after awhile it wasn't so easy.

Also, many could not afford to go to college just like now and many did not want to go to college either.

It was indeed later in the war that they came up with the lottery. If I remember right, it was the first 150 or so numbers that came up that had to worry about being drafted.

Unfortunately, my brother that enlisted before the lottery drew a number in the high 200s and he wouldn't have been drafted. However, he cut himself a good deal with the Airforce and he got all sorts of training and he never left the USA. So, thats the story best I can remember.

Hope this helps!
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HPLeft Donating Member (490 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. They had a lottery
by birthday. I don't remember the exact percentage of dates that were selected every year, however. That lottery ended a couple of years before I turned 18, so I never had to deal with the issue.

If your birthday was called, you often had the choice of enrolling in the National Guard (if there were slots available), or the Service of your choice, before you were drafted.
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atreides1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. Let's Face Facts
Things have changed, to assume that women won't be drafted, or that you can get an education deferment, is stupid.

Who here actually believed that after the 2000 election our military would be spread so thin fighting all over the world.

Want to guess who will get deferments and who won't, it won't be the children of the middle class or the poor. Keep an eye out if they do
reinstate the draft, because you won't see the children of the rich standing in any induction center lines.

Don't believe in what happened in the past, because if you do you will
be sorely disappointed.

But let's just wait and see!!!
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. yep the can and will draft women
and you are also right - the middle class and the poor will be the ones to go. Only the ones fairly well off that have families that can support their efforts might escape like AWOL himself did!

Quite sickening isn't it?

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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. I was born in 1969 ....I have no memory of the draft n/t
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LiberalBushFan Donating Member (831 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. i'd do this
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'm just going on memory
and I was a young teenager at the time, but I think for a while there were deferments for certain undergraduate students. Maybe I'm misremembering, though.

I'd be interested in hearing from someone who remembers just how the draft was started up for Viet Nam. By the time I was old enough to start paying attention, it had been going for a while. How did the government present this to the public and what was the reaction? Was there much uproar? Or were people still used to it because it had been used in WWII and Korea?

I know my parents were against the war, and they talked about it a lot. My brother was born in '54 and he had to register and be in the lottery. We were sick with worry, but his number was high and the US pulled out before he had to go.
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kcwayne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Conscription was started during the Civil War
and was used in the first and second World Wars. You don't hear alot about the draft in the second world war, because most people wanted to go, but it was still used.

So during Viet Nam, they just said they needed to staff the army and started drafting.

The reaction?? Protests, burning draft cards, and great chants like "Hell No, We won't go", "Hey Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?", and of course "Make Love, Not War"

Most parties that I attended in high school had those deep reefer influenced rap sessions with all kinds of rumors and opinions on how to keep out of the draft, and if drafted, how to avoid Nam.
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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. I graduated from college in 1970
and lost my student deferment upon graduation. The lottery(based on a persons birthday) was put into effect in the fall of 1969 or spring of 1970 and as I recall everyone with a lottery number lower than 150 was classified 1-A(which meant you would be drafted). Even though my lottery number was 77, I was so fucking mean they didn't want me.....just kidding. I did get out with a medical deferment.

If they do institute a draft in the future I would think there would be some type of student deferment and also some type of lottery. I would also imagine females would be drafted as well. I too have a 17 year old daughter and certainty hope a draft is not necessary.
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kcwayne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
13. I was there...
The college deferments were eliminated in the last couple years of the draft. With the deferments, only those that could not afford to go to college were getting drafted, and the troops were overwelmingly drawn from the poor segments of society. It was fundamentally unfair.

The lottery was introduced to address irregular application of who got drafted. A draft board was set up in various communities, and the board selected names from the community of those that would be sent based on national directives for how many were needed. If you lived in a small community and were known to and not liked by the local board members, you could count on getting picked.

With the lottery, the board could only select you if your birthday was assigned to the lottery number being pulled. But even then, the draft board could screw with you by selecting you over another person with your birthday.

So it was best not to be under the jurisdiction of a small community draft board, unless you have pull with the board and can get them to overlook you. The ability to influence the board helped most influential (monied) members of the community keep their kids out of the draft. And if the board could not help, there was always the last option, pull strings at the National Guard and get Bif a cushy assignment, ala Dan Quayle and George Bush.

The other deferments were all based on religion, medical, or morals. You could claim you were a homosexual, but back then people were not to keen on being outed by the government.

You could be a concientious objector, and after alot of grilling by some government hacks, they may approve your petition. You would have to provide some other form of government service if they approved your petition. I think joining the Peace Corps was an approved alternative. It was difficult to qualify for this however. It helped if your positions were well known prior to your petition. Mohammed Ali went to jail for draft evasion, even though he claimed to be a concientious objector and religiously compelled not to kill. Of course they loved making an example of him.

Being a Quaker was one way of avoiding conscription, but you could not just join the Quakers and then run down to the draft board and file a petition. (I wonder if being a Southern Baptist or Born Again Christian will get similar treatment now, oh wait, Born Agains like George don't seem to have a problem with killing, do they?)

Another thing people did was try to get classified 4F (medical). There were all kinds of urban legends about sitting on ice all night before your physical to alter your blood pressure, or "untraceable" narcotics that would give you heart flutters and such. Diagnostics have advanced so far since then that it would be difficult to pull this one, and I doubt that many were successful even back then.
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