Thanks to the wonders of the Internet (and Ancestry.com), I found the draft cards of both of my grandfathers as well as that of my Dad.
Neither grandfather served in the military nor was drafted for World War I. I think a lot of this had to do with their ages. While both were over 21 in 1917, they were both towards the upper range of the age group considered. My Grandpa Richardson was 32 and had 3-4 dependent children by that time. Meanwhile, my Grandpa Sheridan was 28 and single but had poor vision. My mother said he always regretted that this prevented him from serving during WWI.
|William Thomas Richardson, 1918|
|John Francis Sheridan, 1917|
My Dad was drafted in 1940 and swore his enlistment oath on Dec. 10, 1940 at Fort Bragg, NC. He was originally drafted for the “Hawaiian Department” but ended up serving most of the war in the Caribbean Defense Command.
|Paul Thomas Richardson, 1940|
This could be one of those family legend stories but my Dad was reputed to be the first man drafted and actually inducted from Randolph County, North Carolina. What I do know is that he served in the Army from 1940 until 1945 and then again from 1953 until 1972 when he was medically retired as a First Sergeant.
Interestingly enough, I also found my Grandpa Sheridan’s draft card from WWII when he was in his early 50s. By this time, he was the Tax Assessor for the County and Borough of Richmond, New York. I haven’t been able to find my Grandpa Richardson’s even though all men between 18 and 65 were required to register after we actually entered the war.
|John F. Sheridan, 1942|
On this Memorial Day, let us remember all that served and, more importantly, those who gave their lives in the defense of this nation and its liberties.