I still have my first one, a Delica with the FRN pocket clip, that I bought at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi, MS back in 1991. This little knife was so remarkably different from everything else around it in the case that I just had to try it, and that was all she wrote. I've got a hoard of Syprderco knives now, these many years and weary miles later.
My next was a FRN Endura that I carried as a work knife, and after the clip sheared off coming out of the hatchway of an air handling unit I was building, I sanded down the remainder of the clip attachment and carried it as a "regular" pocket knife until I saw the stainless Endura II. Carried the Endura II all around the world in 2004-2005, from Camp Shelby to Fort Irwin to Kuwait and Iraq, this nifty little powerhouse of a blade made life a whole lot easier as I zipped through packing materials, valiantly slew hundreds of MREs and all the other various tasks a knife is called upon to accomplish. It shows quite a bit of wear and use, but is still razor sharp and occupies a place of honor in my collection.
I retired the old Endura II after I started working at Camp Shelby, and bought a Foliage Green Endura for uniform wear, and carried that one until 2010, when I was getting ready for Afghanistan. Picked up a black Endura with the DLC blade at the Fort Hood Clothing Sales shop before we shipped, and it has been an awesome knife. Still has Afghan dust in the crevices of the handle scales, and it still just as sharp as when I bought it.
I went to Africa in 2017, and took with me a new Military with the digicam scales and DLC coated blade, and was immensely pleased with it, as it makes a heckuva field knife, and it's light as all get out. It doesn't look as new as it once did, but it handled everything Africa could throw at it, and came back for more.
This year, I'm in Afghanistan, and there is a brand new Amalgam on its way to me here in Kabul. This one is a bit of a departure for me, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this interesting and beautifully designed knife.
I guess you could say that I've started my own tradition, with very new adventure accompanied by a new Spyderco, and now that my son has joined the US Air Force, I plan to pass that tradition on to him should he ever deploy overseas. He already has a Manix with the translucent blue scales (kinda fitting for an Airman, I think), so he already knows what a quality pocket knife is supposed to look like!
I look forward to whatever is over the horizon, and when I get there, I'll have a Spyderco in my pocket.
"let a man never stir a step on the road without his weapons of war, for unsure is the knowing when need shall arise of a spear on the way without." Havamal, verse 38