Selective Service Lottery Draft, 1970

All three of us Chu boys, I, William and Daniel, were registered for the Selective Service in Springfield, Ohio. William was called in for a physical. He failed and was classified as 4-F because of his asthma and flat feet. Daniel accidentally cut off two of his figures in his fine arts class, making wooden frames. He also was disqualified for service. I was the only one left and they were certainly keeping an eye on me. While attending college, I was annually deferred as 2-S. But after I started medical school, the Selective Service demanded a verification letter from my school registrar that I was truly enrolled as full time student each semester. Besides, at that time almost all doctors were drafted anyway. My last hope of not being called to fight in Vietnam was the national lottery held in 1970. The rule was the first called number were the first eligible to serve. My birthday number came up as the fourth number drawn. I was destined to join the Armed Forces. Then my fellow students told me that I could serve without having to carry arms by joining the Unites States Public Health Service. The next day I went to the U.S. Public Health Hospital in Baltimore and sighed up. I discovered that historically, during times of war, all merchant mariners were drafted to serve on the open sea. Thus sea power was so essential and necessary that most countries had hospitals to serve these folks. In the U.S., we had Public Health hospitals along our coast cities: Boston, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, New Orleans, Galveston, San Francisco and Seattle. I could serve in any of these hospital settings instead of joining the armed forces and have to carry a firearm. I gladly joined the U.S. Public Health Service Corps and became a commissioned officer on July 1st, 1970.