My lottery number was 30-something. It was 1969 and the war was hot. My aptitude test scores were such that I would be given 6 weeks training, plus officer training, and would prolly have been dropped into the front lines... where the life expectancy of an new Lt. coming in charge of a combat group was days, not weeks; if the "-----" didn't get him, his own men would to keep him from getting them killed.
Ali was a hero to many of us; he had refused service nearly two years before, even though the Army had offered to put him in exhibition bouts only for troop moral, he would have never seen the front lines. He knew that, and still he refused which cost him his title and many of his best fighting years.
Here's the short version of what he had to say when confronted by students on campus:
There are more vids of full speeches to USC in '68 and to Harvard.
Our generation hit the streets protesting the war and eventually winning over the "Silent Majority" to oppose it.
I was given a 6 month deferral because of a collapsed ulnar nerve in my left elbow; they had me go to Baylor Hosp, hooked up electrodes to my arm and shocked it to test the strength. But guess what? The months past and I never heard from them, ever again. Apparently they lost my paperwork. I certainly wasn't going to call them.
But like many others, my life choices revolved for several years around not knowing whether I would be drafted on any given day... and reading this article and the studies about what happened to people who were is enlightening. Even not having actually been drafted, my life was negatively affected by just the threat of the draft, as were the lives of many others.