Local veteran awarded Long Leaf Pine

Published 7:58 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

America’s birthday celebration in Troy was especially exciting for an Albemarle resident.On Saturday Randall Epps, 70, was awarded the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. The award is among the most prestigious given by the governor of North Carolina.

Nominated by N.C. Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, Epps, a veteran of the Marine Corps who served in Vietnam, has been active in veteran-related activities.

“He has been a champion for veterans and young people. He is very deserving of this honor,” Goodman said.

After returning from Vietnam, Epps was elected as commander of the American Legion Post 306 in Biscoe, and vice commander of VFW Post 527 in Troy.

He is a member of VFW Post 2908, Marine Corps League 1021, AMVETS, DAV Chapter 12 and American Legion Post 520, all in Albemarle.

Epps has also served in the Montgomery Jaycees and the Troy Lions Club.

He is a former commissioner on the Troy Town Council.

For the past 25 years Epps has spearheaded the annual Benny Parsons Bud Shootout, having worked for the late NASCAR legend’s race team for 11 years.

Proceeds from the Bud Shootout have benefitted various civic organizations in Stanly County.

“I’m thankful to be honored with the 2018 North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine award,” Epps said. “I’ve been helping people for the past 50 years, but I’m very thankful for all the people who have helped me also for the past 50 years.”

He expressed gratitude for his wife, Vanette, daughters, Cindy and Cathy, and three grandchildren.

“I wish my mom and Benny Parsons could have been here for this event in my life,” Epps said. “Special thanks to the Governor Roy Cooper for this honor. The good Lord is not done with me yet.”

Goodman presented Epps with the award during Independence Day festivities in Troy. The presentation occurred at Town Hall.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.