eight years in the marine corps. went through a marriage, and a divorce. decided to get out and try my "luck" as a civilian.
first job, walked into a union shop, applied for a job as a helper. interviewer asked what experience i had. i told him i had 8 years learning how to kill people, and wanted to expand my talents.
was offered a chance to enroll in the IBEW electrical apprenticeship program offered at that time. jumped on it. 31 years later, here i am. not sure if its an "improvement", though. :S