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.



March 25, 2016
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ‘Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’
The Lord led the holy man to two doors.
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in..  In the middle of the room was a large round table..  In the middle of the table was a large
pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.  They appeared to be famished.  They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.  But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell.’
They went to the next room and opened the door.  It was exactly the same as the first one.  There was the large round table with the large pot of
stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.  The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.  The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.’
It is simple,’ said the Lord.  ‘It requires but one skill.  You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.’
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you. 


March 3, 2016


Mental illness is more difficult to deal with than a broken bone.
Broken bones are relatively easy. You see the break. The doctor sets the broken bone back into proper alignment and the healing process is completed within a matter of weeks.  Everyone can see the break. Everyone has empathy for the "sick" person.
Mental illness is very different. It's different on every level.  Many times the doctors don't know exactly what's going on. Is it the ODD that's causing the issue? Is it the PTSD?  Is it the ADD? Is it the anxiety? Is it likely to be a combination of all of the above?
What is the best treatment plan? Various pharmaceuticals? Therapy? Counseling?  What type of therapy? How often should counseling take place?
It's all so confusing. It's all so draining.
Mental illness is not for sissies.
Since mental illness cannot be seen like a broken bone it is difficult for some to comprehend why the individual who is "sick" doesn't just act better. That person should behave better. We're tired of that person ruining everything!
How does a person love someone with mental illness? Especially when the sick person is hateful! When the sick person rejects the help offered?!
Mental illness isn't for sissies!


February 18, 2016

Always smiling100_05502100_0599 Grief is an odd emotion to understand. It is deeply personal. It has been my experience that grief never truly goes away. It changes but it is always there.

Our family has continued to grow and too even blossom. I still don’t (completely) understand all of the whys. However, I am finally at peace with The Event.

To see the love and joy that is in our family now truly blesses my heart.

We will never forget that tragic night when we were notified of Buddy’s death. I can still hear and see it all in my mind’s eye.

I remember you Buddy. I remember you well, my friend.

“I have come to understand that, sometimes the Lord calls our loved ones home when they are ready, not when we are ready.” Pastor Tracie Baird


February 19, 2015

In spite of our grief we can still see God’s faithfulness and goodness.

Although we are still grief stricken, life moves on.  We are thankful for new seasons, new life and new relationships.

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.

However, I am now able to see past the profound heartbreak, past the eternal events of that fateful night.  I am able to better (not completely) understand part of His Divine plan for our family.

Here now, eight 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

Buddy and Cooper

Like father, like son


February 19, 2015


Mssc54's Weblog

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…

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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.

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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