Growing up male in a small Northwest town during the Vietnam era of the 1960s, you pretty much knew what was in store for your near future if you failed to attend or maintain a college deferment from military service. Because we lived in a small town we were on a first-name basis with the local draft board. Being on notice when my draft number was coming up during the mid-winter, I negotiated a time that was more fitting - summer I was told was when I wanted to go through Army basic training at Fort Lewis, Wash. I got my wish and reported to Fort Lewis on June 7, 1967, to begin my military duty. Being a 2-year draftee, I was interviewed by Army personnel and told if I took an extra year of service (3-year enlistment), I could pick my first duty assignment. Therefore, I chose Germany and signed a 3-year enlistment, completed basic training at Fort Lewis and my AIT Training at Fort Lee, Va. Once those assignments were completed I received orders that shipped me directly to South Vietnam. True story, fortunately with a very happy ending.