How did I miss this? You sound exactly like my dad. That is by far the best way to live. If I ever make it to that age I plan on having the exact same mindset. You can't really get old if you're always a child. Keeps life interesting that way too.
Bugs, It might be a good idea to get your 20 yrs in the Army and then become a wildlife biologist. Collect 2 retirements.
And I might add that having military experience gives you a huge leg up in applying for federal jobs. You get what are called preference points and are therefore shifted to the top of the list pretty quickly, given that you have the same degrees as everyone else. Most of the federal agencies employ wildlife biologists... NPS, USGS, USFS etc and also ones you wouldn't normally think of such as the DOD. The Department of Defense might also be an awesome choice for someone that is coming out of the military anyways. And two retirements doesn't sound that bad either I guess.
Let me start by telling you the story of two Johns.
John number one went on a day hike with a couple of friends in the Cascade Mountains about an hour from Seattle. He somehow got separated from his buddies and became lost. John was dressed in casual cloths for a warm weather day hike and had nothing but a lunch with him. He spent three days in those mountains and luckily made it out to tell the story.
John number two, a friend of John number one, was much better prepared when...