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How my Poppy Kept Me Out of Vietnam

Updated on April 11, 2012

About the Author

This is a short remembrance written by my grandfather Michael D. Martin of Eden, NC. These stories pertain mostly to our family and his time serving in the Eden City Police Dept. Michael Martin was born Oct. 6th 1943 and passed away Oct. 1st 2010. They are transcribed as he wrote them to keep his writing style alive in the stories. Some are historical and some are just for the humor. If you find these stories enjoyable and would like to read more there is a link at the bottom to more of his stories.

How My Poppy Kept Me Out of Vietnam

When I was nineteen years of age, a year out of Morehead High School, I got my draft notice. They put me on a bus to Charlotte, N.C. and examined me for fitness for service in the United States Military. I was a physically fit young man. I finally had a high school diploma and I was single. I went to the selective service center in Charlotte and blew past all the tests they put me through... But on the questionnaire I filled out... there was one question I will never forget.

"Have you or any member of your family ever been involved in any plot to overthrow the United States Government??... Well, I had to answer... yes! In the next blank, it said: Please Explain... I wrote in Pvt. Andrew Jackson Martin, Company H, 24th Virginia Volunteers, Army of Northern Virginia, C.S.A.

Well, before we left for home, we were subject to the most intense recruiting speech possible, I was moved... but the speaker had on a sissy uniform I could not associate with the military... if he had worn combat boots and battle fatigues I'd been a gonner!! But I figured since I scored in the high 90+ percentile, I'd be drafted soon anyway, so I decided to wait for the draft.

At that time volunteers did four years and draftees did two years... so I decided I wanted the choice, and waited. Funny thing happened!!! I was in the highest percentile... but was never drafted!!!

It could have been a fluke, but now I am convinced that my great grandfather A.J. (Dick) Martin kept me out of Vietnam because of his former service in the rebel armies of Virginia. I must have been classified as an "undesirable". Thank you poppa!! Angels do look after their charges... I will thank you in Paradise.

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