Posted : Dec 4th 2010 10:46 AM
Modified : Dec 4th 2010 10:56 AM
Regardless if we:--served--dodged--or lucked out with deferrments--Vietnam directly, or indirectly influenced our destiny.
I was scheduled to graduate Northwestern Dental School June '69. Since I had not been drafted by Dec '68, I was certain I had beaten the Devil. Confidently, I purchased a dental practice in a brand new suburb called Northglenn (does it still exist?)
In March '69 I was drafted. This gave me 3 months to resale the practice, graduate, and report to basic training.
There was a shortage of Medics, so all doctors and dentists were drafted to fill this void--probably because we would be least likely to faint in the presence of blood.
Three weeks after we were deployed somewhere along the Cambodian border, 'THE MAN' realized he had committed a major faux pas. All medical and dental draftees were given credit for their 8 years of schooling, therefore, we were drafted with the commissioned rank of Captain.
Medics are non-commisioned officers. OOPS! They could not assign Captains as Medics--Rules are Rules. Since we were not trained as combat Captains to lead the infantry, we were of little other use-- but a Captain is a Captain.
To prevent an embarrassing situation, they tranferred us to the US Public Health Service-Coast Guard Division-- where we completed our remaining 2 years of draft obligation.
The upside is: the GI Bill paid for me to return to Northwestern for a Masters degree and specialty training in Children's Dentistry.
I was assistant professor at Northwestern from '73-78, and woke up one morning and decided I would rather treat patients than attend any more 'ad hoc' committee meetings and deal with tenured academicians.
For the last 30 years I have been trying to return to Colorado, but after marrying a Chicago girl, I realized what we guys know, but will never admit--WOMEN RULE--(they control most of our money, and all of the sex)
So, I am still in Chicago, trying to decide whether to be thankful, or bitch about being drafted.