I was a Marine once, for about 15 minutes. The closest I ever got to serving was on the day I was called to Whitehall Street in New York City to take my physical just as the Vietnam War was beginning to heat up. I had two children and was teaching math, so I knew there was little chance of my being inducted. I do remember that day standing alone in the middle of the floor in my birthday suit. The sergeant had just told all of us to pick a branch of the service and go to the various corners of the large hall, “Navy here,” “Army there,” “Air Force back here,” “Marines over there.” Everyone made a choice but me. “And where do you want to go?” he bellowed. “I want to go home,” I yelled back.