I am not a veteran. I came of that age during the Vietnam War and I was against that war. In my 2nd year of college, the draft lottery started. I gave up my college deferment and took my chance.
My number was something like 254. They didn't reach that number and I was free of the draft after that.
I will not say that upset me. I thought the war was dumb. But I did not think less of those who did serve. Had my number been called, I would have served (reluctantly).
My father was rejected for service in WWII for heart reasons. I had many uncles who did serve and valiantly. Most of them thought the Vietnam war was idiotic.
I sometimes wonder how differently my life would have gone had my Vietnam number been called. I wouldn't have been a great soldier. I abhor militaristic hierarchy. But I would have done my best. I would probably have been killed, because I do have a sense of getting out in front of situations. But my number wasn't called and I am here today. Some people I knew in college surely aren't.
Everyone has a view of how to live and what to die for. I didn't choose to risk mine in Vietnam. But I have no doubt that I would risk it to push someone out of the path of a speeding truck or in stopping a fight. Its all where you decide you would risk death.
I thank those who decide to risk theirs and serve in war. To each their own...