National Guard general who avoided combat in every war since Vietnam retires
MIST COUNTY, Minn.—After a long career, it is finally time for National Guard Brigadier General James "Lucky" Lawrence to put away his lightly used combat boots. On Friday, he will retire from the Minnesota Guard after a long career in which he avoided service in in four American wars. He couldn't be prouder.
The general, who first enlisted in 1971, is one of the longest-serving soldiers in the entire armed forces. He admits to our reporter, with some embarrassment, that he originally enlisted under age.
"I knew there was a draft on and I really didn't want to go to Vietnam," he says. "So I went to the Guard recruiter and signed up. No one cared that I didn't have a diploma. I lied about my age and no one checked. When I shipped to boot camp I was only 15."
Lawrence served a four-year enlistment as a radio repairman, performing a handful of field exercises during the period where the President Richard Nixon ended the draft. He left the service just as U.S. forces completed their withdraw…
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