I joined the Air Force months after I graduated at the age of 18.
I joined so uneducated as most of the military. I had no idea about the better jobs coming from more education or experience. If you were fortunate to have an ROTC at your school you could have come into basic training and graduated with rank. I was not one of them. Not to even mention if you attended college you could have been an officer. I am so much wiser now. If I could rewind time a few things would change. Surprisingly I would still go in but I would do things a little bit different. I would like to think I am better capable of setting my children up to succeed if they choose that direction.
I spent 4 years in the military. Learned some great skills, made some loyal friends and gained more about life experiences in those 4 years then I'm sure I ever would have learned outside of the military. I got the privilege of seeing a few places and experiencing winter conditions no one should voluntarily experience (North Dakota).
This year most of my peers retired. It makes me wonder if I could have played "the game" and made it 20 years. Everyone does not have the same mentality (or maturity) that others have. I have always been a runner (if the going gets bad I go) and maybe that's why I didn't stay maybe that's why I didn't fight harder to stay in. Or maybe it was my not my life's path. Instead for the last 16 years I have accumulated 4 children and raised them, held down a few jobs, earned 2 Associates Degrees and a Bachelor's.
I am not going to be too hard on myself. It is what it is. Things happen for a reason and maybe I have done what I was supposed to do or maybe I needed to get out 16 years earlier to accomplish something 16 years later.
No regrets, keeping my head up and moving forward!