Posted on Mar 11, 2016
COL Mikel Burroughs
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This question is for our Vietnam era Veterans here on RallyPoint. Share with us what your feelings were when you first received and opened your draft notice.

What was your stance on the war? Explain your opinion

Did your parents put ideas into your head about the war that you didn't nessisarly believe in?
Edited 2 y ago
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Responses: 560
CPT Jack Durish
395
395
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Edited >1 y ago
WTF! I had just graduated from Infantry OCS and stopped at home before taking off for Vietnam when I received mine. I dressed in my brand new 2LT duds and dutifully reported to the Draft Board at the appointed hour (0600) in Towson, MD. When the elderly lady at the desk asked if she could help me, I handed her my missive from the Draft Board. She scanned it and then looked up at me to say, "You are some kind of smart ass, aren't you?" I smiled and nodded, then did an about face and departed. Yes, I'm still that person today...
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Cpl Clifford Hager
Cpl Clifford Hager
1 mo
I received mine and basically felt defeated but resigned. I wasn't really political about the war and in afterthought, my fear of the draft was basically fear for my life. However, I was brought up by my WWII father to be a patriot, so I reported as ordered along with the letter from the Army telling me about the things I could and couldn't bring with me to Fort Ord.

I was inducted at the center in Los Angeles, so there were about 600 inductees, both volunteers and conscripts. A Marine Lt. in dress blues stood in front of us in a pretty large auditorium and gave a rah-rah speech about the Marines and called for 35 volunteers to which everyone in the room pretty much slumped down in their seats hoping to go unnoticed.

When nobody responded a corporal at the back of the room started picking up folders and calling names. Mine was the first name called. They took us to MCRD in San Diego, ironically in "California Sight Seeing Tours" buses, shaved our heads, issued us clothing and gear and had us pack everything we had brought with us, down to our our underwear in a small box and mail it home. That was the first notice to my parents that I was not in the Army.

Scared to death, but ultimately proud to have served as a United States Marine!
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LTC Tom Lasser
LTC Tom Lasser
1 mo
I got my draft notice halfway through my first tour in Vietnam. Draft board did not believe my dad so I had to have my battalion commander write a letter drafted by command JAG directly to draft board in Riverside,CA..I reckon that worked....
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CMSgt Rickey W. Denicke, Sr.
CMSgt Rickey W. Denicke, Sr.
29 d
LOL, good you CPT Jack!
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PO2 Lewis Brockman
PO2 Lewis Brockman
28 d
I joined the Navy right out of high school and got my notice the day before I reported. They were sure disapointede. Wound up in Nam serving as a gunnersmate , thats cannon cocker to most of you, LOL on PBR's
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
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Never got one, I enlisted into the Marine Corps before getting any notice! I enlisted at 17 on a 90 day wait program because I did not want to get drafted into the Army. No offense brothers and sisters, I just wanted to be a Marine! I knew that I was eventually going to be deployed to Nam which I was. I was a hell of a bugle player and I always wanted to be selected to audition to play in the Commandants Own which after serving two tours in Nam in a Combat Unit, I finally got my chance. At least I fulfilled my dream!
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
Sgt David G Duchesneau
5 mo
SPC Scott Sayre - Scott, it was a "Pick of the Draw!" You didn't have a choice so I just enlisted into the Marines.
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COL Jon Lopey
COL Jon Lopey
4 mo
David: I did the same thing - My mother wouldn't sign for me when I was 17 but shortly after high school I joined the Marines on my 18th birthday! What a birthday present...It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Semper Fi, Marine! COL L
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COL Jon Lopey
COL Jon Lopey
4 mo
Scott: When I joined the Marine in '72, I actually ran into a Marine SSGT who was drafted during Viet Nam. He was squared-away. There were some occasions when men were drafted into the Marines during Viet Nam but my understanding is it didn't happen that much. I knew a guy who joined the USAF in '68 and that was the costliest year of the war. They were taking their physicals when a Marine NCO showed up and asked for men to volunteer for the USMC. No one stepped forward and he went down the line and picked the biggest men in the formation. I have mixed feelings about the all-volunteer force but I still think we are better off with volunteers overall. Semper Fi, COL L
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MSG Ray Manzano
MSG Ray Manzano
4 mo
SPC Scott Sayre - SGT Duchesneau was right. It was the luck of the draw. When they had us line up. I was standing in line they started at the left of the line and counted down the line to almost the middle, which I was a few men further on and then said that everyone from this point to my left "You're now Marines and the rest of you are Army". So I ended up being Army did my two years, extended for one more then re-enlisted and stayed Army for 35 years, until they medically retired me.
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Sgt Field Radio Operator
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112
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Edited >1 y ago
Sir, In high school, I knew that I wanted to join the Marine Corps as soon as I graduated. I felt that aiding South Vietnam was a just cause. My parents were both deceased, and my sister who I was living with did not want me to join. My friends all thought that I was crazy. I have no regrets over my decision. I never received a draft notice.
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SSG Charlie Davis
SSG Charlie Davis
6 mo
By the time I got my 1A draft notice, I had already evaded it by enlisting for four (4) years in the USASA (1966). So in effect, I did beat the draft!
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Cpl Donald McKeon
Cpl Donald McKeon
4 mo
My brother was drafted into the Marines in 1966. They lined up the new recruits and every fifth one was a Marine. Not many Marines only spend two years of active duty in the Marines.
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COL Jon Lopey
COL Jon Lopey
4 mo
Ted: Thank you for serving. I wanted to be a Marine from the time I was a kid and did the same thing. The draft was winding down when I went in but I didn't care - I served during the Viet Nam Era and was certainly glad I did. I had great officers and NCOs. I extended and almost reenlisted but I decided to get out and go to college. Semper Fi! COL L
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Sgt Field Radio Operator
Sgt (Join to see)
4 mo
COL Jon Lopey - I appreciate your response Colonel, and thank you for your many years of service. Semper Fi.
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