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Northeast Oklahoma Family Celebrates Eight Generations of Milita - KOAM TV 7

Northeast Oklahoma Family Celebrates Eight Generations of Military Service on Veterans Day

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OTTAWA COUNTY, OK -

For the Payton brothers, the military runs in their blood. With several relatives fighting in the Civil and Revolutionary wars serving their country was always an honor and an expectation.

"My father's descendants have over twenty years, combat experience. Not military, combat,” says veteran Richard Payton.

Seven out of the eight brothers served in the armed forces, the last remaining four in various stations overseas during the Vietnam War.

"We're a long ways away from each other so we didn't get to see each other. They were 12, we have never, I don't think we ever were all together at one time,” says veteran Charlie Payton.

Although they didn't always see each other growing up, they're notion of brotherhood runs deep.

"You know, I couldn't wait till I was old enough to join my brothers," says veteran Bob Payton.

And his younger brother had the same drive to serve.

“He was my idol. Ge was my idol. I wanted to be like him,” says Richard Payton.

But the brothers feel that same sense of duty to fight for their country has faded in many young Americans today.

Charlie Payton says "It made a man out of me. I think that's what we're missing out here today with a lot of these young folks. We have so many go in and they just can't muster. They won't adjust, you know, they won't change. That's the military. That's the best thing that's ever happened to me.”

It's also one of the best things to happen to his niece who like most of the rest of the family continue to serve in the armed forces.

"It's a way of life. It's a way of thinking that we're proud to be Americans and we support one another,” says Bob’s daughter Kimberley Karhoff.

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