I too am a NC homegrown, from Kernersville.
I'm 45 now, and just got back into Jeeps last year. Cut my teeth with a 1980 CJ-5. Still miss it too!
Sold my antique Mach 1 Mustang last year, and bought a '92 YJ with a portion of the proceeds. It was the best vehicle purchase I have made in years.
I enjoy reading about your experiences, and hope that you continue the thread while you study and grow in His service. Keep up the fine build up.
I found that by building my own bumpers, spare tire carrier, steps, etc., I could enjoy even more of my Jeep in so many ways. Consider doing that, if you have the facilities to do so.
I'll try to start a thread with pictures of my progress as well.
Happy Fourth of July, and remember to give thanks to the God who gave us the strength to fight for freedom in the first place.