Came close when I was a Corporal in the Horse Calvary at Army ROTC at UMASS Amherst.
We were taught how to march, and spent a lot of classtime regarding military history, strategy and tactics. The Army Captains also were talking up Vietnam.... what a beautiful country it was.... and how after the war it would be converted to a huge tropical resort. It was propaganda pure and simple.
But by the beginning of my Junior year in 1973, the Vietnam War had ended, and I had a draft number that insured that I would not be drafted, so I turned in my uniform.
It just didn't seem necessary to continue, but there is a part of me that has always regretted the decision.
My Grandfather,Jeremiah Nestor, served in WWI in the trenches in France where he was gassed by the Germans, and never really recovered.
My Father, John Nestor, served in the US Coast Guard during WWII, escorting shipping convoys across the North Atlantic. He spent a year in the Hospital with Battle Fatique after being blown off of a ship and spending an inordinate time in the ocean. He could never discuss the experience... would just choke up and I never prodded.
My Cousin, Atty. John N. Nestor served as B-17 Flying Fortress pilot and flew 125 missions over Europe in WWII - five times the required amount. It was a miracle that he beat the statistics and didn't die.
My Father in Law, Joe LeBlanc, was blown off of his jeep by a Chinese tank in the Korean War and spent time as a Prisoner of War.
But, my Father was staunchly against the Vietnam War, and was afraid that I would have to serve. He once said that he would shoot me in the foot if I was drafted, and I believed that he was not kidding about that. At his insistence, I joined Army ROTC at UMASS because he felt that as a 2nd Lieutenant, I would have a better chance of survival.
There are a lot of stats regarding the mortality rate of 2nd Lieutenants in Vietnam... suffice it to say that I think that my Father's hypothesis was "dead" wrong.
Regardless... if I had remained in ROTC and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant at graduation, it would have been a couple of years of peacetime service.
Yet, I so admire those that have served. Maybe it is in my blood from family veterans who served with distinction and made significant sacrifices by their military experience.
It is a central reason for my support of Seth Moulton in his bid to be elected Congressman of the Sixth Massachusetts District. Even though I cringe at the Hard Line Democrats that are buzzing around him like flies on shit, I respect his four tours of duty in Iraq, and will support him based on that alone.