Veterans Day is one of the most earmarked “holidays” in the history of the United States.

As a veteran myself, I am honored to have served the country in the US Army as a National Guard/Reservist. My late father, the Reverend Willie Epting, Sr., served proudly in the Navy. He laid the foundation for the rest of us in my family to include my oldest sister Lydia Young, a Captain in the US Army and my younger sister Crysta McDonald, a Specialist 4 in the US Army. I was sandwiched between the two of them, also a Specialist 4.

I have many friends that have served in three of the four other branches of the Department of Defense. We have shared stories about basic training and even active duty service. The stories are what binds us together forever. In many ways, the military and veteran camaraderie experiences mirror that of sports. Ideologies of selflessness, sacrifice, doing your job, teamwork and so many more are the immediate similarities. The most important characteristic is a group of men and/or women coming together to accomplish the set goal and objective.

My service in the military ended more than 25 years ago. The skills I learned will follow me everywhere I go and will live forever. Even as a parent, there were skills obtained in the Army that were present in the rearing of my children. I’m proud to say the Epting military tradition has continued as my son Kamron Epting is an Airman in the Navy, following in the footsteps of my father. He is a third-generation military man.

People have had various opinions about the military and whether it is for them. I will tell anyone, the military is not for everyone. But those who serve do obtain life skills and friends that will remain for a lifetime.

So with that being said, if you are a Veteran, Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service. If you know a veteran, thank them for their service. If you have thoughts of enlisting into any one of the branches of the armed forces, do your due diligence and make a decision that is best for YOUR life.

God bless us and God bless America.

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