Jane Huey was surprised, to say the least, when a letter
arrived at her Kingston, Pennsylvania, home urging Bert Huey
to register to be drafted into the U.S. military.
Bert Huey had already served in World War One, which began
100 years ago this summer, and died in 1995. He was her
"It is funny and kind of pathetic," she said. "And the other
thing is, we couldn't get a hold of the darn draft board. We
were afraid we'd be fined or something."
The names of Bert Huey and more than 14,000 other
Pennsylvania men born from 1893 to 1897 came up because of a
computer coding error by the Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation, which shares information from driver's
license and vehicle registrations with Selective Service.
That agency keeps track of men aged 18 to 25 and drafts men
into service at times of war when a draft is ordered.
"We made a mistake," said Jan McKnight, a community relations
coordinator for PennDOT. "This just wasn't good. We do
She said the 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.
Pat Schuback, a spokesman for Selective Service, said the
agency sent out 57,787 registration notices in June. Among
those, reminders went out to the last known addresses of more
than 14,200 Pennsylvania males born from 1893 to 1897.
"This has never happened before, and I'd bet money that it
will never happen again," Schuback said.
Jane Huey said her husband's grandfather was a proud veteran.
"He probably would have served again," she said.