So the novel I'm attempting is based in 1969. One of the main characters is not doing well in college. He has fallen in love with "Kate" and is angst-ridden over the relationship which is heavily influenced by both of their strict Catholic up-bringing. The college Dean calls him into his office in March and tells d him there is no chance of him passing this semester. He announces to Kate that week that he has enlisted. With rumors of the lottery starting up later that year, he feels it is the best thing to do to ensure that he had a better chance of not going to Vietnam.
My question: Was it possible in 1969 to enlist in March and not be sent to Basic until the early May? What was that whole process? Can you give me some real life experience that I can incorporate or some knowledge you might have of the timeline from enlistment "back in the day" to getting on that bus that takes the enlistees to Basic. This novel IS based on a real life situation, but since I can't recall the exact details and sequence of events, I have to fill in with a believeable fictionalized version.
All I remember is that March was the month "Tim" told me he had enlisted and May 6 was the first letter I received from Basic. I need to fill in what happened in between.
If memory serves me, the U.S. Marine Corps had a "delayed entry program". In my case, I was sworn in on September 21st, 1964, and shipped out to Parris Island on October 7th, two weeks later, but I believe the DEP was up to six months.
ahorseback, Right this was for enlistment. So I could get by with my character enlisting in March and not leaving on that buy until the last week of April or first week in May it seems.... That's how my memory serves me. The first letter from basic was May 6, but I do think in real life, enlistment was back in March.