Veterans Letters Project

Peace and War in the Heartland

Lottery Objectives & Operation



o Make today's “virtual draft” real by enacting the SSS' draft Lottery.

o To challenge draft age youth to start thinking about the moral implications of being trained to kill.

o To get draft age youth to realize that the current wars – and future wars – are based upon their commitment to register with the SSS.

o Move draft age youths (18-25) to attend the public events of the “Peace and War in the Heartland” project.

o Move draft age youths (18-25) to attend the play, “Peace Crimes: the Minnesota 8 vs. the war”


The “Virtual Draft”

The Selective Service System ( states that it has over 90% of all 18-25 year olds in its offline database. With a simple click of the mouse, the draft is activated and online. This is a Virtual Draft. Today’s youth, 18-25, exist as draftees in hyperspace.

Moreover, there are over 2,000 local and state appeal draft boards, with over 11,000 volunteers who have been trained in an 8 hour program to staff the draft, once activated. The SSS is ready to spring into action.

Heart of the Beast Theater's Lottery re-enactment

How to make the draft real? How to challenge draft age youth to start thinking about the moral implications of being trained to kill?

1. At Coffman Union and other campuses, create a Lottery scenario. HOBT specializes in theatrical puppetry. Puppets of Uncle Sam and draft personnel. Mock-up of a Lottery machine: two big Casino round cages with capsules containing a) days of the year and b) numbers 1-366.

2. Post the Lottery results on physical board and online. Note: if number 25 is picked along with your birthday, August 6th, then the student is told that he is the 25th in line to be drafted by his local board. Anyone up to number 200 should be ready to be inducted within a year or two.

3. Give each "Draftee" an envelope with a) Greetings! letter, telling them when and where to report for their induction physical, b) a “1-A” file with c) a “1-A” wallet size draft card, and d) a To Do list (e.g., say goodbye to your girlfriend, quit your job, lose weight, make out your will …).

4. When he is ready, the "Draftee" returns and receives from a group of war veterans an envelope with a randomly selected “This is what happened to you” true story written by a veteran. E.g., “You went to Germany and worked on computers. You got home, married your childhood sweetheart and am now active in the VFW.” Or, “You got wounded. Came home, but couldn't keep a job. You were denied treatment for PTSD. You attempted suicide twice.” Or, "You lost a leg." Or, "You died from friendly fire."

Video Diary

All PWH events will be videotaped. Edited for YouTube and other internet distribution. All programs will be simultaneously webcasted. Video material will be archived. Stored at the U of MN and the Minnesota History Center. All material will be archived to serve as a future educational resource.





The military Selective Service Draft has been activated!

What is your Lottery number? Click here to find out.