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



May 30, 2011

Sgt. Buddy James Hughie




Entered into eternal rest serving in Operation Enduring Freedom

Afghanistan, Asia

Killed in Action (KIA) with a single shot from a Taliban sniper while rendering aid to Afghan Army Nationals.  Sgt Hughie went where no other dared.  He saved the lives of two men who were of a different race, a different religion, who lived in a foreign land and they spoke a different language. In the process, his heroic actions cost him his life.  Sgt Hughie stepped out and went where others refused go.

We love him and miss him dearly.  If you have not visited  the links “Our American Hero” and “Sgt Buddy James Hughie” on this home page please take time to do so and get to know our American Hero.  He is the one we knew as Buddy, the one with the radiant white smile who was always willing to help you with whatever needed to be done.  The world is a little darker without Buddy Hughie.

Today as you storm the beaches remember those whom stormed beaches long ago.

Enjoy your freedoms for they are bought with the blood from our American Heros.


February 19, 2010


Sgt. Buddy James Hughie was shot and killed by a Taliban sniper while (serving as an army medic) rendering aid to wounded Afghani Army National soldiers.  Buddy went to the aid of men who had darker skin, were of a different religion, had different customs and spoke a different language.  He was credited with saving the lives of two of those foreign soldiers.  Perhaps those men are with their children today. 

Buddy was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars with Valor for his selfless acts of heroism that day on a foreign battle field.  He was to rotate home in less than three months to rejoin us, his bride of two years and baby Cooper… age thirteen weeks and three days.

We will always remember the two weeks Daddy Buddy was home for the birth of baby Cooper.  He was up night and day with his little boy, feeding him, changing his diaper and cradling him in his arms as he looked lovingly into his eyes.  I can clearly remember Buddy holding Cooper while looking at his newborn pink skin and saying in an awe-struck, loving voice (almost a whisper) “You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for him.

This video still makes me cry when I watch it:

Sgt Buddy James Hughie (right)

Sgt. Buddy James Hughie (K.I.A.)

Image Hosted by

Village Children by Kala Gush.

Sgt Hughie personally volunteered to go on every mission into the local villages to inoculate local children like these.

Sgt Hughie’s Memorial Service in Afghanistan


Thirteen weeks and three days after this picture was taken….

I remember meeting Buddy for the first time.  He looked me in the eye, shook my hand and had that big smile he was famous for.  At that time we had three daughters that were of dating age so I had done the drill of “meet this guy” a few times.  I knew there was something different about Buddy because I did not dislike him right off.  There was just something about him that was appealing.

Eventually Buddy became more than my daughter’s boyfriend.  He became my employee, he became my friend.  For nearly a year we rode side by side in my work van everyday.  We talked about everything.  I was very fortunate in that I was able to closely observe him in a daily basis.  I was able to watch how he interacted with people, how he treated them and how he did not treat them. 

One day when we sat down for lunch and the waitress brought our food Buddy looks across the table to me and says, “Before we eat I need to ask you something.”  What’s up, I replied.  “I would like your permission to marry Alexis.”  I smiled and told him that of course he could have my permission and that I was happy to move our relationship to the next level.  Buddy was just an old-fashioned guy and I liked that.

Whenever we would see Buddy and Alexis together they always looked so happy and full of life.   Their love for each other was obvious.  He treated her like a queen, always doing all the little things that a young man does when he adores his woman. 

A little over a year after they married Buddy deployed to Afghanistan, Asia.  While he was deployed Alexis moved back in with us.  By now she was pregnant so we converted our diningroom into a bedroom for her and the baby.  Buddy scheduled his leave to coincide with the birth of their baby.  He so wanted to be there for every moment he could with their baby.  You see, Buddy never met his father.  He was determined to be the daddy that he never had.  He was home on leave two days before Alexis went into labor and infant Cooper was born.  I wish you all could have seen the radiance on both of their faces.  The way they looked at each other and infant Cooper is etched into my mind’s eye.  I can still see Buddy feeding Cooper, burping him, changing his diaper, talking to  him and snuggling with him in the bed.

After feeding and changing Cooper’s diaper it’s time for some sleep.







Buddy holding Cooper and Carter. 


Buddy holding Cooper with Porter.

The man who many others would eventually come to know as a bona-fide American Hero was the man we knew as:


Our lives are richer because Buddy James Hughie became a member of our family.  He loved us and we love him.  I only wish I could have better appreciated  just how close we all are back then. 



February 18, 2009






Recently at our weekly men’s bible study we were discussing “courage”.

We looked at the story of Joshua.  You remember, when Moses was leading the Israelites through the desert for forty years he (Moses) sent (spies) into the Promised Land to bring back reports.

Ten of the spies came back with reports of GIANTS and had all the reasons why they could not succeed in their final destiny.  However, Joshua and Caleb had all the reasons why they could and should take their final destiny.

But alas, Moses (instead of leading the Israelites as God had commanded him) decided to go with the committee (basically, the elders) and made the decision to keep walking around the desert.

Now we look at the story of Joshua.  Moses is dead and Joshua is the new leader.  The Lord actually commands Joshua to be brave and courageous.  Brave and courageous?

Although the Lord gave Joshua some pretty unconventional directives with which to conquer the enemy he (Joshua) was resolutely obedient to the Lord’s commands.

Through  Joshua’s resolute faith, obediance, bravery and courage the Israelites were able to conquer their enemy and enter the Promised Land.

Tomorrow will be February 19th, 2009 and we will be marking the two year anniversary of my son-in-law being killed in action in Afghanistan.  If you haven’t read about it you can see it here.

Buddy was also resolutely faithful to his duty, obedient to follow his orders, was certainly brave and unquestionably courageous.  He did those things for those who could not do it for themselves.  He did it so people like you and me could enjoy our way of life.   Though on a much smaller scale Buddy was like a Joshua that day on  the battle field.  He changed destiny for at least two wounded men on the battle field.  I don’t think that was a “smaller scale” to those men or their families.  Nor was it a small scale for Buddy’s family.

I’m not saying that Sgt. Buddy James Hughie was another “Joshua” but I am asking…  How many of us are faithful, obedient, brave or courageous? 

I mean, how often to we have the oppertunity to speak Truth to someone who needs to hear it but, because we would be uncomfortable or embarrassed, we choose to ignore the situation?  Shame on us for being such cowards!

We believe that Buddy was an example of Jesus that day.  He sacrificed his life in order that others may live.  On that day along the borders of Afghanistan/Pakistan Sgt. Buddy James Hughie was the proverbial seed who fell to the ground and died so that others would live.

Naturally, it has been very difficult for us.  However, we carry with us the memory of a man who, although he saw the “giants” decided to be faithful, obedient, brave and courageous while others chose another path.

God bless, keep and comfort those families who have or will receive that same knock at their frond door.