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Draft worries young men

January 15, 2003

ALBANY -- 19-year-old Matthew Brown enjoys playing some pool between classes. But The Darton business student realizes these carefree times could quickly change, "We could be drafted, so no I don't want to go, not even going to act like I do."

Like every other student getting any financial aid on campus, he has to be registered with the Selective Service, now the building chance of being drafted is weighing heavily on young men's minds.

"Started thinking about it last couple weeks more and more," Jase Reid said. 

Draft dodging has become even more difficult in Georgia in recent years, because you have to be registered to get a license. You become eligible anytime between the ages of 18 and 25. But what about students? There seems to be some confusion.

"I don't know if I can get drafted," Jason Stevens said. 

The answer is yes, college students only get to finish the rest of the semester. The main exemptions, are disabilities, the ministry, and conscientous objectors, who still join the military, but don't have to fight. But most of the 19-year-olds at Darton said they would go into combat if called upon.

"I understand as an American citizen there are some things we have to do, I would go without hesitation," Tony Matthews said. "My dad and grampa were in the military and they are no different from me really."

"If I do get selected I'd go and try to make the best of it," Brown said.

For a little while longer at least, Brown and the rest of South Georgia's young men can rest easy.

The Selective Service has the names of 13.5 million American men on file. They say about one in every ten eligible males has still not registered.

posted at 5:45 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com