The Vietnam War raged on for far too many years. Sadly for some of its veterans the war will never be over. Many men came home changed, suffering PTSD to this day, and to make matters worse were horribly mistreated back home by some. So unfair considering they didn't game the system like others who went on to be president or a big time New Jersey rock star. They obeyed law and duty, and they went off to Vietnam and did what they didn't want to do.

Over 58,000 didn't come home. Of those who died in Vietnam, nearly 3% were from New Jersey. 1,487 New Jerseyans died in that war. The average age of those from our state who died was 23. The oldest was William John Zalewski, a 51 year old Marine from Clifton. 26 were only 18 years old.

In the early years of the war there were so many ways to get out of serving that efforts were made to change the draft to make it more fair. Along came the draft lottery. Young men were assigned a draft number between 1 and 366 which was randomly assigned to correspond to their particular birthdays. The lower your draft number the more chance you had of being drafted and sent into the Vietnam War. This was one lottery you did not want to win.

Check out this eerie link through Imagine all else were equal in your life; that you were still born on your same birthday but the year were 1950. Would you have been sent to war? Go to this link and simply put in your birth month and day and it will tell you if you would have been drafted.

I would have been. My draft number 104 was called in 1970. So would Bill Doyle.

My son Atticus would not have been with a draft number of 242. Nor would my son Cooper with 317 or my son Jack with 269. But my brother Kerry would have been called up in 1970 with a draft number of 123.

Just an eerie thing to think about what young men went through back then. One big cosmic spin of a wheel of chance could decide if you might die.

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