“The best decision I have ever made was probably going into the military. I went in at 17, and it made me a man real quick because right after I got in there, I went overseas. It taught me a lot of responsibility. When you have people’s lives depending on you, it makes you grow up quicker. Plus, you get to see a lot of the world. It teaches you also to be humble, and that’s all values I still got. I think everybody should go for a year or two, just to get the discipline.” – Johnny Oates of Wetumpka
Oates is the owner of the River Perk Coffee Shop in Wetumpka. Oates served six years in the U.S. Army and fought in the Vietnam War. He said his time in the military instilled in him a sense of responsibility and other important values that he still carries with him today.