Joining the Army

What was I thinking? A few yars earlier I was a college war protester. I marched on Washington shouting "If the government won't stop the war, the people will stop the government". I demonstrated at Ball State University chanting "Hey, Hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?" Hey, Kent State was just down the road from us.

I carried this draft card for years, hoping against hope that I would never have to burn it.

I was watching TV at Jim's house. I saw my birthdate fished out the fish bowl. I was number 95. (Not bad, but borderline draft bait). And then I was drafted, .. just after graduation, into the "Army of the United States". Here's the "greeting" from my draft board.

Fortunately, I had already been accepted into the Peace Corps and my selection into the selective service was "deferred" until my tour in the Peace Corps was complete... So then Nixon ended the secret bombing of Cambodia in December of '72, then the draft ended in January of '73, and then my draft board notified me that I was off the hook in February of '73.

After my return from Peace Corps / Korea, I looked for teaching positions in Washington and Oregon. I found none. I struggled at Weyerheauser, lumbering in Longview.

 Alas, I sought out the U.S. Army  my employer of last resort. I re-invented myself, putting on the army as one puts on an ill-fitting suitcoat.