Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Military

US Sends Draft Notices To 14,000 Men Born In The 19th Century

WWI veteran Bert Huey
Family photo
WWI veteran Bert Huey

Dead men may tell no tales, but they apparently do get draft notices from the United States Selective Service System.

The agency accidentally sent out draft notices to 14,000 Pennsylvania men born between 1893 and 1897, according to The Associated Press.

World War I veteran Bert Huey was once of the recipients. He died in 1995 at age 100. His grandson, 73-year-old Chuck Huey, told The A.P. he was stunned to find out Uncle Sam was looking for his late grandfather:

“I said, ‘Geez, what the hell is this about?’ It said he was subject to heavy fines and imprisonment if he didn’t sign up for the draft board.

"We were just totally dumbfounded.”
Reuters reports the mistake was the result of a computer coding error by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. PennDOT shares its information with the Selective Service.

PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight, explained to Reuters how the error happen:

[T]he mistake occurred when a computer operator entered "93-97" instead of "1993-1997." So the computer spewed out the names of all males in its database born from 1893 to 1897 and from 1993 to 1997.

The whole kerfuffle made Chuck Huey wistful, according to the Times Leader:

“I really wish my grandfather was around. He would straighten this out in a hurry.”

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.