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Question Of The Month. (July 2020) (Fork In The Road)

Discussion in 'Question of the Month' started by carbinemike, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. carbinemike

    carbinemike Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    6,079
    Howdy,
    This is a monthly series of questions topic for everyone to join in on the discussion. Some of the questions may have a poll, and some will not. Don't be shy now, go ahead and post an answer and vote in the polls...

    What was your biggest fork in the road life decision and where may the other fork have led?

    @Scoop gets a thanks for this months question.
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  2. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    9,576
    ME vs Comp Sci

    I chose computers over mechanical engineering.
    meanstreak, ripjack13 and carbinemike like this.
  3. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    6,240
    Hi.

    Choosing to wear a badge or Army uniform just to go to work (done both my whole life) vs. say being an educator like a lot of my family, or perhaps getting some quiet federal govt job like others in my family chose to do. Everyone in my family are ALL libs and I just couldn't follow. I chose to be a fighter, despite the lost potential of an easier life with higher pay. I could have avoided the scars and having to endure the physical pain, or the crippling stress I have sometimes put my wife thru. I do miss being in a close relationship with my parents and my brothers (even my TWIN brother), but it has not been possible.

    Sorry for being so dramatic. But as I get older I question more my major life decisions and sometimes it weighs heavily upon me.
  4. Ernst

    Ernst .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    1,178
    In the 60s, at the height of the Vietnam War, I was working for a major defense contractor as a nondestructive test engineer. Decided to join the military out of patriotism to our country. Took a 90% reduction in salary but two plus decades later upon retirement from the military I couldn't have been happier with my earlier career decision.

    Regards
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  5. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Well, there was space flight or Sabrejets. . . until I was 7. Of course John Glen had already flown into space.

    BUT, I didn't much consider military or law at all. Not since the age of 7 when I discovered myopia.
    If I could not at least fly a B52 or a F100 there was no point. I knew there was no path there if you weren't 20/20.
    They were really looking for guys with even better eyes than that.

    By the time I was being recruited (17 years old) for military G2 school, I'd already heard 17 years about hardships and betrayals by Congress.

    Everybody was excited by my test scores. I was excited when they ended the draft. If I couldn't fly, I wasn't up for Vietnam.

    It was lucky for me. I had friends that flew jets and choppers and came home busted up, mustered out, broke and struggling to finish school, and damn lucky still they weren't caught by Charlie!

    After Vietnam ended, my dad was retired after 30 years, with a commendation, but loss of 25% retirement pay. His 30 years wasn't continuous enough (never mind that leg wound that sent him home from WW2 at the age of 18.) He dodged mortar attacks in a radar hut on the DMZ, dangerous spy-radar operations in the north Atlantic, wounded in the Pacific fleet, sucked up a lot of radiation and defoliants, and died horribly from cancer.

    Dad was a three war man who volunteered at 17, and those cheap crooks scalped him!

    I would much rather go after fat DC crooks than starving Cong farmers or desert goatherds.

    I Thank Almighty God, I never had the need to do either.
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  6. JeffnBama

    JeffnBama .410

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    30
    I was a pretty good artist after HS took a few art classes and was interested in attending Vocational school for commercial art . My dad God bless him didn't know told me to get a good job with one of the factories so changed my mind. I never did ended up working several low paying jobs then truck driving school 1989 and been driving ever since. The good thing got to see the country good and bad and doubt would been happy working assembly line. Also growing up near Millington Navy base should have joined the Navy but after being in a strict private school guess just wanted be free of rules uniforms and haircuts.
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  7. carbinemike

    carbinemike Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    6,079
    I'll share a fork in the road for my Dad. It's a better story than any of mine anyway. In the late 50's and right out of high school Dad went to work for the military division of Hamilton Watch Company as a draftsman. He worked his way up to designing artillery fuses while getting married and having my older brother. Sometime in '64 he felt he should serve the country as the early buildup in Vietnam was under way. Mom agreed that she and the baby would move in with her parents while he was enlisted. After it was all arranged he used a lunch break, went to the recruiter to sign up and was late getting back to work. His boss noticed him missing and someone told him what Dad was doing. The boss called the recruiter right away and said not to take him. Hamilton needed him designing fuses more than the army needed another grunt. Dad was told under no circumstances would he be accepted and he got back to his life. I was born in July of '65 only because he stayed home and got mom pregnant again instead of being a soldier.
  8. Scoop

    Scoop .30-06

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    2,417
    Mike... that is marvelous! It was definitely a significant "fork in the road" for BOTH of you.
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  9. Elbert Garrett

    Elbert Garrett .30-06 Supporter

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    1,239
    What was your biggest fork in the road life decision and where may the other fork have led?

    I never dwelled on it much, I figured everything thing happens for a reason...a predestined path filled with tests!
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  10. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    4,305
    Joining the Air Force in 1969. I gained self confidence and self worth in 4 years that would stay with me and guide me through my adult life.
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  11. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Meanie, it’s a strange thing, but in all the years that my parents traveled around in the service I never heard that attitude.

    It was always people complaining about the war or the regulations or some vagary of the service.

    Nowadays I hear it all the time from guys who are retired.
    meanstreak likes this.
  12. Daryll

    Daryll .270 WIN Supporter

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    366
    I suppose my biggest fork in the road was my job choice after leaving school at 17.. I'd had good exam results in both Tech Drawing and Biology, so my choice was Draftsman or the Sciences.

    I didn't fancy an apprenticeship and a local Research Contract organisation was hiring, so i took a job as an Animal Technician... 44 years later, I'm still there, but for the last 17 years as part of the IT Dept managing various data capture systems.

    This job has taken me to various conferences all over the world, so probably a better choice than hunched over a drawingboard in an office.. :)
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  13. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    9,576
    To me it's like a giant Pachinko machine. God tosses us in at the top of the animal food chain.
    Without tilting the machine, most of humanity falls, by the law of statistics, to the low scores.

    But who ends up where is largely based on the luck you have, or make. Or, quite often, the bad luck you don't make.

    A lot of wealthy, fortunate men, were lucky at first, hanging around the top of the machine while balls drop all around, only to plunge to zero in the last plink.
    It drives folks mad too.

    But even the highest scoring ball, eventually comes to Earth. Dust to dust.
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  14. Scoop

    Scoop .30-06

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    2,417
    Well, since Mike blamed me for this month's question of the month I guess it would be polite to stop dodging it and give an answer.

    I'm sort of undecided between Elbert's predestined path and Cadd's pachinko machine...

    I thought about a lot of years back looking for a big change in a short period of time and I pick
    The Summer of '66.

    My life before that was a crooked path leading towards my father's profession as an engineer. I took all the courses and eyeballed the employers and positions available. But as much as I loved the math, physics, and problem solving aspects of the career there were a few things that were definite obstacles to such a professional path.

    The first was that I had so little interest in arts and literature and history that my first 2 years of college awful, gradespeakingwise.

    I transferred from a liberal arts college to a large university known as "The Big Farm" in the middle of Ohio.

    The second obstacle was that I decided as much as I liked the courses I didn't like the actual job of engineer. Poor performance in French and psychology dragged my grades below the threshold of even the state's university system.

    In mid '65 the draft board was kind enough to send me an invitation to join the government's education program of patriotism, discipline, weaponry, teamwork and general whipassery.

    During the next year basic training, artillery school, clerk typist course, blah blah... assigned to a southeast Asia Arty HQ as clerk. Pretty much had the individualism extracted from me.

    FORK IN THE ROAD finally.

    I may go into the details later, but let's just say the LT above me wanted to throw me in the stockade. I wanted to demand my right to a court martial because he was so wrong, but my CO talked me out of it saying the worst I would get out of it was and Article 15 with 7 days of extra duty with no loss of grade or pay. That was a lot better than taking the chance of getting convicted and being labeled a Federal Offender. [ <-- good advice]

    So to get out of my untenable position I asked my LT if I could get reassigned. [What he didn't know that I knew of every personnel opening in the unit from HQ down to the battery level.] He said, "If you can find somebody who would want you to work for him... fine!"

    So I slapped a reassignment order on his desk sending myself to the Aviation Detachment as a Huey crewchief/machinegunner. I was over there in day.
    My life changed from aimless to focused in a day. My BIGGEST FORK.

    It was that move that led me toward my professional interest in flying. Got into civilian flying, instruction, airline, air traffic control and emergency operations. Over 30 years with the FAA.

    upload_2020-7-30_2-5-47.jpeg
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  15. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Gee Scoop, I wish I'd asked you that question ten years ago.
    :perfect:
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  16. hombre243

    hombre243 .30-06

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    1,300
    Pachinko? He was an actor, right?
    Oh, the Forkin Road. I decided early on I wanted to be a public servant. I worked for a health department, drove buses...city, charter and paratransit, worked with road crews, not the ones that wore stripes. I almost went to work in TX for the TX DOC but had to come back home. I did work as a Jailer for 3 years though. I did a lot of other work on the side but I was always either fixing stuff for people, or doing their yard work. Basically, I wanted to be of service/help to others. I never made a good living for more than a couple years at a time but I always enjoyed what I was doing and I would not have changed a thing. In other words, I don need no fork in road. :thanks:
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  17. carbinemike

    carbinemike Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    Blamed?...I'm no plagerist. Beside, it was a good question.
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  18. Scoop

    Scoop .30-06

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    I was happy to help, Mike.
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  19. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

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    I chose to apply for an internal auditor job for a major software Corp I was working for after I graduated from college (was working in the scanning dept). Beat out a few people and ended up traveling the world auditing satellite companies for 5 years. Got a lot of experience and ended up getting a job in public accounting and passing my CPA exam.

    had I not gotten the internal auditor job I may not have gotten or went for my Cpa license. And not making as good money as I am now.
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  20. Centuriator

    Centuriator .270 WIN

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    230
    When I was about 29 I faced the choice of staying with a career path that would have been quieter, less stressful and so forth. Instead, I opted to join up with a national effort and have served at the national level of our company ever since. I have earned a lot more money, had a lot more stress, looking back I would have done the same thing. I just realized I did not want to hit old age and look back and say, "I wish I would have tried that..." In spite of the associated problems with position, I'm glad I did. I've been able to impact a lot more people than I otherwise would have.
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