Seniors low in lottery, face draft, alternatives
Approximately 50 South senior students will be eligible for the draft next year. All males born in 1953 have been required to register at local Selective Service Boards within 90 days of their eighteenth birthday.
Many of the students with low lottery numbers hope that a volunteer army will replace the draft system by 1973, since none are sure that the United States will be out of Southeast Asia by next year.
Dan, with lottery number 6, commented, "I really do hope there'll be a volunteer army, but I wonder, who's going to volunteer?"
Dan plans to finish one year of college before he may be inducted. He will sign up for the Reserve Officers Training Corps program if current events indicate he will be drafted. By joining ROTC, Dan cancontinue four years of school without interruption.
"I won't enlist because there's always a chance I can stay out," stated Brad Camp, lottery number 25. A majority of the others concerned expressed the same idea.
Brad will probably go to college for four years, sign up for ROTC and, as required of all in the program, serve for two years.
Caliming to be a conscientious objector is what Brad believes he would never do. "I don't feel that it would be right for me since I'm not against serving my country," he explained.
Unlike most of the students who plan either to join ROTC or wait for induction, Bill, number 10, plans to enlist. "The main reason is because of the training I could get in the different programs," he stated. "Another reason is that I'd be more sure of where I'd be going."
Bill hopes he can finish at least two semesters of college if he does not enlist; otherwise he will enlist right after high school. He added that he would mind an interruption in his education.
We, lottery number 18, commented, "I'm banking on the fact that the draft bill might not be extended this June, but if it is extended, I have an out." Wes signed up for the United States Air Force Reserves before his junior year. He admitted that he signed up solely for the purpose of evading the draft and added, "It's a favorite trick for draft-dodgers."
Two years ago, Wes decided that he saw no point in war and would not fight. He has not registered as a CO [conscientious objector] because he feels that the Selective Service board could "misinterpret answers and declare your reason not good enough, even if you answer truthfully."
If he could not go into the Reserves, Wes believes he would try to obtain some medical excuse. Next, he would leave the country, probably for Canada, or as a last resort enlist.
Those who wish CO status may apply when they register. Appropriate forms are sent when the lottery numbers are pulled. Anyone may fill out a form provided he is not under induction.
If he has been drafted, the person must take his form to his commanding officer.
According to a Selective Service board employee, boththe local and state boards make decisions on granting CO status. All boards are composed of professional men.
Enlisting into the regular service can take place until the day before induction. After induction, entrance into the reserves is prohibited.
Those who fail to register or to report to the local board after a "reasonable" length of time can be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years or both.
The Selective Service Board serving the Northwest suburban area is at 1920 Waukegan Rd. in Glenview. It is open until 4:30 PM on weekdays. The phone number is 729-0970.