1969 Vietnam Enlistment Question

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  1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
    Billie Kelpinposted 6 years ago

    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.

    Thanks so much.

    1. Credence2 profile image80
      Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Should be an interesting read, that's my time.  Good luck!

      1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
        Billie Kelpinposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks Credence2 - let's hope it IS an interesting read.  I'm working on it smile

  2. Edward J. Palumbo profile image86
    Edward J. Palumboposted 6 years ago

    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.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That helps Edward.  Thank you!

  3. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 6 years ago

    There were many delayed entry programs for enlistment  , based on varied timing  , for drafted  troops , No.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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.

      1. profile image0
        ahorsebackposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Yes ,  One could even delay for  a year !   So your  memory is intact ! LOL, so Go with it  and good luck !

        1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
          Billie Kelpinposted 5 years agoin reply to this



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