February 19, 2013

Jake Tapper

On Saturday, February 16, 2013 I had the pleasure of taking our grandson (Buddy’s) son to listen to CNN Anchor, White House Correspondent and author Jake Tapper speak at the Savannah Book Festival.  Mr. Tapper was speaking about his experiences leading up to and including, the writing The Outpost – An Untold Story of American Valor. (!/OutpostBook)

Although Buddy was not stationed at Combat Outpost Keating at the time of it’s attack that faithful day of October 3, 2009 he had been through there and had known some of the soldiers.

Jake chronicles some of Buddy’s heroics in this book.  In fact chapter 14 is titled Buddy.

Unfortunately, like our’s, there are thousands of families who have had their lives eternally altered by their loved one being Killed in Action on a foreign battled field.  Our American Hero, Sgt Buddy James “Doc” Hughie is but one of the many.

During the question and answer session at Saturday’s Savannah Book Festival  a woman asked about the War On Terror as it relates to victory.  Further explaining that in WW II some victories were clear.  But with the war in Afghanistan there seems to be no victories.

That got me to thinking about Buddy’s role in the War on Terror, and in particular his personal contributions, as it relates to victories. 

First, there are the two Afghan Army National Soldiers Buddy was credited for saving their lives.  I’d say that is a pretty big victory for those men and their families and friends.  Secondly, Buddy was a medic.  He volunteered for every mission when/where they would go into villages to inoculate children against diseases. Hundreds upon hundreds of children.  Today there are Afghan teenagers alive and well, enjoying their lives because Buddy gave them the gift of life, the prevention of diseases.

The American public, as detached as they are from the horrors of war and how it still effects many of us, may not see victories in a traditional sense of the word.  But rest assured, victories do exist in many Afghan families, villages and regions because of American soldiers like SGT BUDDY JAMES “DOC” HUGHIE.


I Have Warts… And I Even Recognise Some of Them.

August 20, 2014

I will be the first to admit that one of my biggest challenges is that I have difficulty seeing other people’s point of view… especially when the subject matter is something I have spent time researching and studying.

Admittedly, this doesn’t typically bother me. However, my Mrs. and I help facilitate a Small Group at our local church and my inability or even unwillingness to step back and consider that there may be another view worth considering has left me with a feeling of great unworthiness: even of creating division. Precisely the opposite of what Small Groups are about.

What has lead me to this epiphany is that we got into a discussion about silent prayer and audible prayer. I have read and studied many passages in Holy Scripture, read books, been to work-shops and had numerous discussions about prayer. But I have never seen or heard (specifically) discussed the value or merit of silent prayer. Or so I thought.

The discussion at Small Group last week (by some measure) had a pretty contentious atmosphere about it. Not the loving, accepting and valuing atmosphere we typically aspire to and experience.

I must acknowledge and accept that this atmosphere was created by my rigid stance that audible prayer is by far the most effective way to communicate with our Creator. In fact, I believe that my approach to this subject matter did more to push some people away than it did to draw them closer to God.

Yes, I understand that I am not the Holy Spirit and that regardless of what goes on around us we are each individually held accountable for our spiritual standing with the Lord (by His grace and mercy). Never-the-less, I further understand that I will be held accountable for throwing road blocks in the paths of those seeking a more meaningful relationship with the Lord.

Romans 14:17 For, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink but stirring up goodness and peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. 18 If you let Christ be Lord in these affairs, God will be glad; and so will others. 19 In this way aim for harmony in the church, and try to build each other up.

I have fallen woefully short in creating harmony. For that I am very sorry and confess that I will/must change my ways in these matters.

There is a bit of good news though. This has caused me to take a closer look at my prayer life and style. While I am completely comfortable with praying out loud, I had neglected to take into consideration what roll silent prayer (and meditation) plays in my life and too what extent I (personally) employ it.

The results of my “review” have been quite convicting! Who am I to tell others what the best way is for them to pray?! We each have our own unique way that we are best able to communicate with our Creator. I have come to better understand that God has created each of us so uniquely that only HE (through His Holy Spirit) will determine how best to commune with each individual.

I can only ask for grace and forgiveness from those whom I have offended with my pious attitude.

Death at the front door: Part I

May 25, 2014


Seven and a half years later and I can still feel this.

Originally posted on Mssc54's Weblog:

It had been one of those Mondays so my wife and I went up to bed around nine that night. 

Our daughter and son-in-law had moved back in with us the previous May when his National Guard unit was activated to deploy to Afghanistan.  They had married a little over a year before and moved to Buddy’s small home town of Poteau, Oklahoma so Alexis could get to know his family before he deployed.  It was always in the plans for her to stay with us while he was gone.

Our evening had been pretty uneventful.  Except that Lex mentioned (around six) that she hadn’t heard from Buddy yet and was wondering what was going on.  He would usually call her ever day.   On this particular day he was supposed to call her to let her know which of the pictures he liked best. 

You see Buddy had come home for…

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February 28, 2014

I think there is a great misconception about Christianity… especially when someone initially accepts
Christ as their personal Savior.

Upon conversion many people believe, “Great, I’ve accepted Jesus.  Now I won’t have any problems or challenges in my life.”  WRONG!

Jesus never promised us a problem free existence.  What He did promise is that He would give us the Holy Spirit to help us make better choices.  Making better choices may lead to fewer pot holes in the road of life.  Not pot hole free but fewer pot holes.

It has been my personal experience that life happens in seasons.  I’ll have a season where it seems as though I can do no wrong.  Everything is almost golden.  Not perfect mind  you but nothing major going wrong and when things do seem challenging I am generally lead to a smoother path.  That season, my dear friends, is a dangerous one.  It is during those times that I have a tendency to become complacent about my spiritual growth.  Complacency can lead to stagnation.  For me, stagnation is a dangerous place to be. 

Then there are seasons that seem to be wrought with shear havoc!  Pandemonium even.  It’s as if God is saying, “Okay, now do I have  your attention?” 

I have spent enough times in those seasons that I am now able to recognize them as they are forming on my horizon.  That recognition is a good thing.  A very good thing.

It normally begins with me being presented with a choice or two.  One choice will lead to a season of selfish indulgence.  You see, the enemy knows precisely where my weaknesses lye.  And he knows that I am wise enough (now) to recognize a red flag when it appears.  So what he will do is try to lull me into a false sense of security, even try to convince me that because of “x – y – z” that a short season of self indulgence won’t be that big of a deal.  WRONG AGAIN!!

I have learned that even the smallest of selfish indulgences can and will likely, lead to a place I had never planned to go.  Similar to climbing a ladder, once I step on that first rung the second rung is easier, then the third, then before I know it I’m standing on the  top of the ladder marked “Not a step”

Have I always made the proper decision.  Heck no.  And I suppose there will be many short comings along the road of life.  However, I am willing to be a bit introspective and be able to make the proper adjustments when and where needed.

I’ll just keep running the race. 


February 19, 2014

I tried not to. Honest, I did. It’s been seven years. When will it be enough? Some day. How long is enough? Just a bit more.

I can still see it all (vividly) unfolding in front of me. I feel that helpless feeling. I can hear that moaning… that deep guttural moaning. The screaming and tears are still so real to me.

Is this me being unable to move on? I don’t know. And I don’t care… or do I?

I remember it all. Meeting the hearse at the airport and following it home. Going inside the funeral home for a bit. Buddy’s escort there with his body in that flag draped casket.

Returning the next day for our personal goodbye. I had my arm around her. She was standing a little bent forward, hands clasped at her chest. Me with my lef arm around her shoulder, my right hand on her right arm. She was weeping. “I can’t daddy.” It’s okay honey, take your time. Shuffling forward ever so slowly. Shuffling.

The flag is folded down. The casket open. We are finally close enough to see him. “He looks so peaceful,” she says. He is peaceful honey.

We are at his side now. Her head is cocked to the left and tilted forward. She puts her hands on his white-gloved hands. “I love him so much.” I know you do honey.

The final Home Coming of Sgt Buddy James DOC Hughie was very difficult. It left more questions than answers.

Here now, seven years later, we still grieve his untimely death. But we celebrate the life he once lived. We celebrate life with those left behind because that is what Buddy would want and expect. He died so that others could live. So live we must. Enjoy life we will. And remember that our American Hero will always be with us in some way or another.

Remembering the husband, the father, the son, the friend.

Saluting the Soldier:

KIA, FEBRUARY 19, 2007

Always smiling

Always smiling

Buddy and Cooper

Buddy and Cooper

Like father, like son

Like father, like son

My Angel Story

February 17, 2014

Originally posted on Mssc54's Weblog:

June 1999


My father was an abusive alcoholic, who was out of town 4-5 nights a week.  He used to just beat the tar out of me, so much so that my mom would have to “pull him off” of me. I was second in the birth order with 4 sisters and my brother came along when I was 13.


He (my dad) used to take me to his girl friend’s (secretary’s) house and I would have to wait out in the car.  I can still see her standing on the steps with that blond hair up in a bun and that yellow dress on, holding the screen door open for my dad.


When I turned 13 we had “the talk”.  My dad told me that if I ever had the chance to “get” a girl, I should do it, that I may be able to get…

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February 14, 2014

There are literally 1000 things running through my mind since yesterday when I heard some very disturbing news. There were several people APAULED that I signed a card to my ‘stepson’ (a word I NEVER use) “Love, Mom”.

Let me start by explaining that I know a little about this subject. I had foster parents, I had and aunt and uncle whom I lived with for a period of time, I lived with my sister as well. All before the age of 18. I was a child and they were all my adult caregivers. They fixed my ‘owies’. They made my dinner and my favorite cheese bread. They LOVED me! They CARED for me. When they didn’t HAVE TO!

Second, there is no limit on love. There is no way to measure love. If another person is added to your heart that you love, there is no love ‘taken’ from someone else to equal everything out. The amount of love a person has is infinite and loving one doesn’t mean you love another any less!

I am divorced. My husband chose another woman whom he believed he loved over the family he already had. We had three children together. One day he may marry this other woman whom he cheated with. Do I like that a cheater and a liar may end up playing a role model for our girls? Not at all! If he marries her and our children call her ‘Mom’ will I flip out? Not at all! They know I am their mother. They know I gave birth to them. They know they were in my belly. I have read them stories, put on the band aids and raised them with beliefs I hold dear: A love for God, honesty, integrity, and many more. I am their mother.  If they love another woman or call her mother, our love for each other will not change! The love my children have for me will never be diminished simply because they begin to love another mother figure (see paragraph 2).

If hearing your child call another person mother threatens you, seek counseling! That’s about you! Not them. If you continue to put your ‘baggage’ on them they will need to seek counseling at some point in time. YOU are setting them up to deal with the same insecurities you are struggling with yourself. Your child loves everyone. Racism, insecurities, hate, and many others are not instilled in kids. Adults expose children that ‘baggage’ along the way. It is not about the person that is loving and caring for your child. This person who makes their favorite meals, reads them books at night, tucks them in, and sends them boxes of love is not to blame. You probably should be thankful that your ‘ex’ has found someone that loves your child. There are far too many children who are not as fortunate.

As I have journeyed through the process of becoming divorced I have discovered that some States actually foster animosity between children and any perspective ‘other parent.’  These states allow, too be included in the divorce decree or parenting plan, that the children are not to call another person ‘mom’ or ‘dad.’  Seriously?!  Let’s remember, the children have absolutely zero control over what is taking place in their little lives!  Now one (or both) ex-spouses want to cause further emotional distress by telling these already traumatized children which words they can and cannot use as they try to develop some sort of normalcy with the new adult care giver in their lives?  Shame on all of them!   

The day my newest son called me ‘momma’ was I supposed to respond with “I am not your mother!”? He was telling me he valued our relationship and that I was important to him. So some attorney thinks that instead of responding with love I should have told my newest son that I am not who he feels that I am? THAT will likely cause him to attend counseling sessions on ‘rejection’ by someone you love.

So here I sit. Hearing that I should be sorry and NEVER again refer to myself as ‘mom’, although he refers to me as such. I should apologize (to the adult) as I might have hurt her feelings? I will not apologize, although I will give her a good number for a counselor I know. She is no victim. No one has done anything to her.

Maybe she should have thought about someone else in her child’s life before she ran out on her family for another man, made seriously poor choices, and lost custody of her son. There are consequences for all our actions. Another lesson I plan to teach her son and mine.


(The Other Mother)

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