News these days about reviving the draft brings back memories. It was the summer of ’43 and my 18th birthday approached. World War 2 was raging and the law required all males reaching age 18 to register for the draft.
To avoid spending the war in a mud hole, I officially applied to join the Navy. Then, a few weeks after I hit 18, I got my draft notice and orders to report to the recruiting station. After my physical there, I was ordered to report for Army service in two weeks.
I told the Army recruiting sergeant I had already applied for Navy service. He snarled that the day’s Navy quota was filled and I was now in the Army. As I was about to accept my orders, a grizzled Marine recruiter who had heard the argument came over to me. He noted my last name and asked if I was related to an Eric Sherman who had a grocery store in a nearby neighborhood.
I replied truthfully he was my uncle, bringing a big smile to the Marine’s face. He said Eric had helped his family with free groceries when they were broke. He then slapped my shoulder and shouted, “Kid, you’re in the Navy now!”