Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Beating the Odds

What are the odds? In Powerball; to win, it's approximately 1 in 292 million. Getting struck by lightning; about 1 in 960,000 in a year (1 in 12,000 for your lifetime). Death by asteroid strike: 1 in 75,000,000. You could say that is astronomical! But this pales in comparison as to why I am the luckiest man alive and beat the odds. Read on to see my proof.
What if:
In September 1992 I never stopped in the Western Avenue Air Force Recruiter's Office?
I didn't do well in my entrance exam to qualify for any job in the AF?
I didn't choose to be a Law Enforcement Specialist?
I did take up my Recruiter's offer to leave for Basic Training in November of 1992 versus my March 93 date?
In March 1993, my plane didn't get delayed for a day to San Antonio and I started a different training flight?
After Basic Training, my Tech School training flight started 2 weeks earlier than it did?
After I graduated tech school, I didn't swap orders with another dude and ended up going to Charleston AFB, SC versus Yokota AB, JA?
In 1994, I never applied for a special duty assignment to work in Naples, IT?
In 1995, I never got selected for the job in Italy?
In November 1995, when I was selected to go to Zagreb, Croatia, my orders never got cancelled?
In December 1995, I didn't go to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina?
In April 1996, Diane Bradley didn't send out cards to "Any Soldier" for Operation Dear Abby?
On 3 May 1996, I never grabbed her card out of those thousands and read it?
On 6 May 1996, I never wrote back to her?
In Sep 1996, I didn't call her, or for that matter she never picked up?
I never curtailed my orders in Italy to return in Feb 1997?
I never received orders to McClellan AFB, CA?
After meeting for the first time in the Minneapolis airport, when she gave me the rose, there was no spark?
After cooking for her, she had second thoughts?
On our trip to Reno, when I proposed, she said "No"?
After she got back home and I started work, she got cold feet and didn't want to move to California so we could be together?
After I explained to her what it would be like being a Military Spouse, she said "No," and packed her bags and moved back to Wisconsin?
After our wedding, when we finally, really got to know each other, especially our first year, she didn't gather the courage to tell me my actions were hurtful and couldn't go on?

I could go on, but I hope you see the point. I don't know what to call it? Some believe in fate. Others believe in miracles by the grace of God. There are those who believe in the astrological signs when planets align just perfectly. And then there are people who believe in a Butterfly Effect...one little happenstance that creates a larger ripple effect across time. For me, maybe it is just blind, dumb luck. I have to thank Chris Rybitski for the initial cause. Why? As I was driving down Western Avenue on that September 1992 afternoon, wondering what to do why my life, I saw the AF Recruiter's office and in one fleeting thought, I said to myself, "Screw it! If Chris can handle the AF, so can I!" I made a U-turn and walked in. It was that one life decision, that set my whole life in motion. I ended up marrying the best woman in the world and for twenty years, she has been by my side, through everything. This is my proof, that I beat all the odds and am, in fact, the luckiest man in the world. So tomorrow, I celebrate with my beautiful bride.

Happy 20th Anniversary Diane! I love you!


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