During the Vietnam war, men who should serve just didn't, hiding or something else. Are there any numbers as to how many men should have served but didn't? Also, is there some information about what were the most common ways to avoid it? Lastly, what was the supposed punishment for these cases, and are there any statistics as to how many were actually punished in that way?

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft_evasion#Vietnam_War is a good place to start researching this. May 29, 2013 at 7:10
  • Sheds of motivations (and tactics) for dodging the draft in Vietnam can be found in the biographies of such contemporaries as John Irving and George W. Bush.
    – Drux
    May 29, 2013 at 8:12
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    Thanks, Felix. :) Apparently my greatest difficulty finding the information was that I didn't know that was called "draft evasion", "dodging the draft" or even that the word "draft" had any use in this context... ESL situations. ;-/ But I wonder if Mark's title edition is beneficial, if other ESL people look for this information in a way similar to what I did.... :S
    – msb
    Jun 6, 2013 at 23:24
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    FWIW: My dad claims they were prepared to move us to Canada, but he got a really high draft number, so it wasn't necessary. Don't know if he would have gone through with it, but I suspect this gives you the two most common ways men avoided of the draft.
    – T.E.D.
    May 16, 2015 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


There were so many ways of "avoiding" the draft that the answer will never be found. Look up information on teacher surpluses, grad school enrollments, expansion of the National Guard and the Reserves, Canadian immigration, and defence industry jobs for starters. Draft card burnings never seemed to have the fuel examined before the match was applied. As a fun thing to do, check out how many people have been convicted of financial crimes and whether they fit the demographic that includes young men of that age. You might be surprised.

  • Indeed, some avoided the draft by enlisting :-)
    – jamesqf
    May 18, 2015 at 4:13
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    @jamesqf - Particularly in the Navy or Coast Guard (although I understand Coast Guard got kinda tough to get into due to all the demand, much like the National Guard, and it helped to have high-level connections. See the Creedence song Fortunate Son). I've talked to some guys who enlisted in the Army, and were allowed (due to the voluntary enlistment) to pick a posting, and they picked West Germany. That tactic sounds kinda risky to me though.
    – T.E.D.
    Jun 16, 2015 at 2:45
  • @T.E.D.: That wasn't quite what I meant, but a good point none the less.
    – jamesqf
    Jun 16, 2015 at 5:08
  • @T.E.D.: As I recall, it mattered to have enlisted before your draft number was announced - there was no pity for "volunteers" with low draft numbers. There was also no guarantee that where you unit was stationed now was where it would be in 12 months. Jul 16, 2015 at 6:04

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