Judy and Wendell Johnson '67

My education was interrupted when I received my Army Draft Notice in June 1967. This was during the height of the Vietnam War. At the time I was extremely disappointed in being drafted.  However, this proved to be one of the greatest highlights of my life. 

The Army sent me to the Corps of Engineers for officer training at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Virginia is where I met Judy, the love of my life. We had known each other for only a few months and decided to get married in June. However, I received orders to ship out for Vietnam on March 15. We had one week to plan our wedding and had a two-week honeymoon, spent partly in Tucson meeting several of my UA friends.  

At the end of the two weeks, Judy left on a plane back to Virginia and I left for a one-year tour in Vietnam during the infamous Tet Offensive. I returned home as a DAV and Judy and I moved to Tucson to finish my architecture degree. 

While Judy was not a student, she was very involved in helping me with a lot of my projects and studies while finishing my degree in 1970. Her big role while we were at the UA was starring in an amazing film at the newly constructed UA hospital while giving birth to our son, Wendell Jr., on Nov 1, 1973.  She consented to allow them to film the birth so a "few" interns could witness the live birth. She was very surprised to find the observation deck in the delivery room filled with a "large" audience of interns. She wanted to pull the covers over her head but realized she had signed a consent form and the movie had already begun. There was a huge applause at the end of the delivery as the doctor held up my son for ALL to see. 

The significance of this love story is that had I not been drafted out of Arizona I wouldn't have ended up in Virginia. We celebrated our 50th anniversary on March 1, 2017 with our family of five children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson. My bachelor of architecture degree is second to this amazing event.

Thanks, UA!