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From Service to Smiles: Tallahassee veteran serves customers with singing on Memorial Day

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 17:52:28-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — He sings to customers and never lets a child pass without saying hello. Darryl Felton is a beloved Walmart employee and a proud U.S. Army Veteran.

Memorial Day is an important day for all as we remember and honor the men and women who died while serving our country. To those heroes, we say thank you, for our freedom.

For the men and women who do come home, there's often another battle, adjusting to life after the military. That's why some employers are trying to get those veterans into jobs.

Felton served our country and he now works at Walmart on Thomasville Road as a sales associate. He is such a valued and beloved employee and co-worker.

His boss says veterans in general make excellent employees. He says they are usually high energy, tactical, and engaging, and in Darryl's case, very, very entertaining.

Felton served as a Infantry man in the U.S. Army in the late 70's. After the service he had quite a few different jobs.

He says the transition back into civilian life can be difficult for many servicemen and women, but working at a supportive company makes all the difference.

"It built my confidence level back up. It gave me a sense of belonging a new family because the military is a family of it's own and when you break that mold and come out, you are going to need some help adjusting," said Felton.

Felton was the first person in his family to serve in the United States Army. He says he went through Navel ROTC throughout high school and says he was destined to do it. Darryl's coworkers say that working with him everyday is an adventure.

"He's very entertaining, he likes to sing, he's very jolly and he's a worker," said Terry Strike, Felton's coworker.

Walmart's initiative to hire veterans was launched in 2013 and the retail giant recently launched a new initiative to hire veterans' spouses. Store Manager Michael Hicks says Darryl spoke last year during Veteran's Appreciation Day.

"It was literally captivating to hear everything that he had done, not only for his country but also for Walmart," said Hicks. "He is just a well-rounded, great individual."

Felton said he feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve his country.

"It wasn't easy, and it's not always pretty, but we did do something," said Felton. "We stood up for our country and I think that's a noble noble deed."

Walmart Veterans Welcome Home Commitment has hired over 200,000 veterans since its launch in 2013, including more than 14,000 in Florida.

The Welcome Home Commitment guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran.