Around the middle of June, Johnny got his Order to Report for Induction. He had been drafted.
“What about your student deferment, Johnny? What about that?” I cried.
Johnny sat at our kitchen table, shaking his head.
“You know, before you moved in, I remember taking this test…it was some kind of draft test…I don’t know…I didn’t pay that much attention.”
“I had been out the night before…didn’t get much sleep before taking it…I was a little hung-over…”
He looked up at me sheepishly.
“I should have had you there, Tinka, slipping me notes…”
I frantically paced around the small kitchen as Johnny sat holding the letter in his hands…looking at it in total disbelief.
“I never really thought it would happen.” He said quietly.
“I think I have about two weeks before I have to report.” He looked again at the letter and let it fall to the floor.
I picked it up and tore it in half. Then I tore it in half again.
“NO!!!! You’re not going!!! I won’t let you go!” I shouted.
“There must be something we can do! We’ve got to do something! Wait!!! Why can’t we get married, Johnny? They don’t take married men, right?” I said.
That deferment ended last August Riley. Apparently, Johnson needs the wisdom of the married man.” He said sarcastically.
“Canada….we’ll move to Canada. Lots of boys are doing it, Johnny. We can do…”
Before I could finish, Johnny was holding up his hand and shaking his head…
“My dad would disown me, Riley…and forbid my mom and Alec from visiting me. ”
I knew how close Johnny and his mom were and Johnny loved his little brother so much. Alec was just two years younger than Johnny…and he idolized him.
“You know how my dad feels about “duty and service to country”. He said glumly. Both Johnny’s dad and grandfather had served in the Army…and both during war time.
“If I went to Canada, I wouldn’t see my mom or Alec ever again, Riley.”
“Well if you die in some fucking rice field in Nam…you won’t see them ever again either…will you!!!!” I screamed at him.