Drafted is a coming of age comedy of 19 year-old Eli J. Jones, a lifeguard, disc jockey, and college student, who is illegally drafted into the U.S. Army the summer before his junior year, by Willie and the infamous draft board #13. Eli makes several attempts to avoid conscription, but still finds himself plucked out of his sheltered, carefree small town life and plunged into a disciplined military environment during the life-threatening era of Vietnam. Despite his mantra of “I’m not supposed to be here,” Eli quickly adapts, making many new friends, including the likable Harry Horowitz, Tex, Steve, the Professor, Sam and the lovely Nurse Sara (who teaches him some of mysteries of the Kama Sutra). They help Eli cope with the insane Battalion Commander (and Sara’s dad), Colonel Clark, as well as overcome his bully Drill Sergeant, Carl Worlinski, who on more than one occasion threatens, “Must kill Eli.”
Eli’s adventures continue through advanced infantry training at Fort “Lost in the Woods,” Missouri, as well as infantry officer candidate school in Fort Benning, Georgia, where he meets up with “Mad Dog” Drummond, who’s sole purpose is to make the candidates as miserable as himself. Eli keeps his wits about him, while trying to survive everything from nude fire drills, a snake-charming stripper - Miss Tiger Tactics, Ranger training and brass pickers in the Georgia swamps, to being buried alive by Le Huu Duc in a Vietnamese P.O.W. camp simulation.
Eli never quits trying to make things right, even when Colonel Clark has his orders changed and it sends him to war (with a quick stopover in Seattle and an all-night orgy with three United stewardesses). Deep in the jungles of Vietnam, with his platoon – the seven dwarfs - he discovers you must sometimes face your problems – and in doing so he beats death, saves his best friend Sam from drowning in the Perfume River, and ends up a hero. After receiving a bronze star and purple heart at a Bob Hope Christmas show, his very rich buddy, Tex, from basic training, comes through and gets local draft board thirteen busted.
Faced with the choice of getting out or finishing his tour, Eli takes the responsible route and decides to stay. He picks a “safe” job as a disc jockey at Armed Forces Radio in Saigon - just prior to the 1968 Viet Cong Tet offensive. Once again Eli has to fight for his friends and his own life, but survives, and comes home a wiser young man, ready to deal with the challenges of a new romance, college and a bright future.