Personal Note - Sometimes as a teacher you have an assignment which means more to you because of your past experiences. I registered for the draft while I was a senior at Searcy High School and the Vietnam War was raging. The experiences of the Vietnam War will result in a change in US law. Eighteen (18) year old males must now register, but there is currently no draft. This assignment is to help you learn about the draft during the Vietnam War. My draft classification was 1-A.
Facts for Assignment - For this assignment, it is the year 1969. You are a young man who has a 1-A draft classification. The United States government has informed you that are required to report for active duty. In all probability, you will eventually be sent to fight in Vietnam. The question is whether will you run to Canada and evade the draft or submit to the draft. (Historical Note – About 125,000 young American men fled to Canada.) (I have decided to make this complicated for you.) One of your best friends, Steve, has also been ordered to report for active duty and he intends to do so. If you don’t report, Steve will consider you a coward. Another of your best friends, Ernie, has a CO classification, so he will not be ordered to report. Ernie is advising you to do what is best for you. Your girlfriend, Dawn, loves you very much and does not want to see you die. She is encouraging you to run to Canada, where she will join you later.
You have a tough decision to make. The terms I have used and the concepts will become clearer as you use the links I have provided. Your assignment is to make a decision whether to be drafted or run to Canada. If you run to Canada, you will become a criminal and you have no reason to believe you will ever be allowed to return to the United States.
Assignment – Write a entry in a diary which you have been keeping. Make a decision as to what you are going to do. It is important that you explain your reasons for your decision.
Essential Question - Why do so many young Americans decide to violate the law regarding the draft?
Educational Objectives -
1. You will be able to explain the basic idea of the draft during the Vietnam War.
2. You will be able to define “CO” and “1-A”.
3. You will be able to describe the pros and cons of either submitting to the draft or evading the draft by running to Canada.
1. This link will lead to video footage from the Canadian Broadcasting Company concerning this subject. While all the links are good, make sure you listen to 1, 2, 6, & 11. CBC DIGITAL ARCHIVES
2. This link from the Selective Service System will explain the Vietnam Lotteries. (This is why I did not face making the choice you are writing about. I received number 258 and no call was issued for the draft was issued for my birth year.) SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM
3. Read this letter which Bill Clinton wrote in 1969. It will help you understand his opposition to the draft and why he was not required to served in the Vietnam War. BILL CLINTON DRAFT LETTER
4. Use this link to gather information about draftees and casualties in the Vietnam War.
VIETNAM WAR STATISICS
5. INTERVIEW with Vietnam War Resister