COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A local soldier at Fort Benning set to retire after finishing his 20th year of service took part in a unique Early Signing Day experience this year, when Signing Day came at the same time as Veterans Day.

Jonathan “Buckets” Shuskey, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and North Carolina native, has served in the Army since 2000. He’s been at Fort Benning, Ga. the last few years.

During his service, Shuskey has been a machine gunner, team leader, squad leader and platoon sergeant. Additionally, he’s served in five tours of combat during his time with the Army, with four tours in Afghanistan and one in the Philippines.

“Pat Summitt once said that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself. “Buckets” is living proof of her quote,” Chip Seagle, Manchester High Offensive Coordinator and good friend of Shuskey, said.

Now, Shuskey is taking a different path. While most students sign for college sports fresh out of high school, the Staff Sergeant is trading uniforms and taking on a new challenge to play Division II golf at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, once his 20th year of service comes to a close.

“Every coach I talked to, we were all kind of on the same page. This situation is unique because I’m not just making the decision for myself. I have a wife and four kids, and they are coming along for the ride too. And so, that was the other part of Christian Brothers that, when I talked to Coach Brice, and he really just seemed to like that idea of us making that move and making that commitment as a family and made me fell really comfortable with that decision,” Shuskey said.

Shuskey and his wife have four children. His family will move with him to Memphis in the summer as he takes the next steps of his journey.