Let’s see. I retired as a Marine Corps officer right after the First Gulf War. Thirty years and three wars were enough.
I started life as a rifleman and served as a Recon Marine in Da Nang for nearly a year before being medivaced to the hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.
After I was discharged I went back to school at the University of California and turned some really rotten grades into A’s and B’s. By then I realized what happened to young men who screwed up and flunked out of college.
Armed with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and knowing all a fresh young undergraduate could about Post-
Revolutionary China, I applied for a commission in the Marine Corps, went to flight school and spent the next several years of my life flying Huey’s and the H-46.
After retiring, my family moved to Corvallis, Oregon where I tried to get a degree in computer science.
That turned into a disaster. I got great grades for two years, but after one July where it rained solidly and never got above 55 degrees, I’d had enough, tossed my stuff and my kids into a U-Haul truck and headed back to Los Angeles where there is both sun and work.
Since then I’ve been a technical writer, combining my ability to write a simple, coherent sentence and my new found ability to work with zeros and ones.
I managed to work for one or two really great places and one or two really bizarre ones including one whose motto was, “build, sell, test.” They made some fairly cool software, but is was as buggy as an old loaf of bread.
In the winter I volunteer as a ski patroller. It’s
fun, I usually get 30 or 40 days of skiing a year and I get to wear a cool red jacket. One of the best perks of being on ski patrol is often you can ski at other resorts without having to pay for a lift ticket. That’s a really generous thing for resorts to do, especially when you consider every parking place in their lot is worth about $400 or more to them on any given day.