Fifty years. Wow. Looking in my life’s rear view mirror, among the numbers that determined its course since 1969 — the number of my wives (1), the number of my full-time employers (2), and the number of my children (3) — none looms larger than my draft lottery number (44). Like others in our class, my response to an unwelcome invitation from our government to serve in Vietnam set my life on a different course from the one I had in mind upon graduation. Setting aside my plans to pursue a post-graduate degree in physics, I went to work as an engineer for North American Aviation, receiving an occupational deferment. It was a decision that led me towards what became a rewarding 40-year career as an electrical engineer in the defense industry. I have never regretted my decision. Since retiring from full-time employment, I have consulted part-time, traveled, found a new interest in genealogy, and developed my life-long interest in photography.
Since our 1969 graduation, the world has changed dramatically — some would say for the worse. But I choose to be optimistic about the future. Earlier this year my newly married son and his wife traveled halfway around the world to honeymoon. Their destination? Vietnam. Wow.