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November 6, 2011

I still carry my draft card. It was sent to me on August 26, 1966, and it came with a stern warning on the back. Any person who alters, forges, knowingly destroys, knowingly mutilates or in any manner changes this notice may be fined not to exceed $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.
I was classified 1-A, so I immediately got busy and got signed up for college. Its not that I didnt love my country, but I had barely been out of the neighborhood during my first 18 years of life, and Vietnam seemed a long way away.
When I was appointed to my first church right out of junior college, the government issued me a new card. I was suddenly a 4-A, which indicated that I was a divinity student, and not subject to the draft at all.
However, a couple of years later they changed all of that when they instituted the lottery system. They took away my 4-A and gave me back my original 1-A designation. Then they reported that the draft would be conducted according to the number that coincided with ones birth date. Everybody would have their own lucky number, and those who drew number 1 would be the first ones to go.
My mother never thought gambling was a good idea, and I started to write to my draft board and tell them that I probably shouldnt play, but I decided not to do that.
My number turned out to be 286, and before my number could be drawn, President Nixon decided to bring everybody home.
Today we have a volunteer army, which seems a bit more equitable, but I still carry my card, just in case.
And, speaking of volunteers, we are in desperate need around the office right now.
With her son Jasons illness, Lydia Presnell will not be available to perform her usual tasks of answering the phone, doing the bulletins, preparing newsletters, receiving visitors, and the dozens of other little things that come with her job. Lydia is a valued and much loved employee of the church, and we need people who will have things in order for her when she returns.
If you can volunteer to perform any of these tasks we ask that you contact Gloria Hamilton at 706 294 3408. She will put you on the schedule, and you will have provided a wonderful service to your church.
Thank you in advance for volunteering.
It would be so much easier if we still had the draft.

And, Ill see you Sunday.

Gary