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 24, 2012


On Sunday, February 19, 2012 we marked the five year anniversary of our American Hero being KIA while serving as an army medic in Afghanistan Asia by having a WREATH LAYING CEREMONY.  I have written a bit about this tragic event (previously) so I won’t take the time here to go over all of that.

I invited Buddy’s former CO to the service and asked if he would be the Key Note Speaker.  They are in OK and we are in SC so it was quite a committment for them to make that seventeen hour drie.  He accepted and brought three other OKNG soldiers with him.  All four soldiers were in Afghanistan with Buddy.  I later found out that one of the soldiers was actually in the same convoy that was ambushed by the Taliban when Buddy was KIA!

Our grandson was only three months, four days old when his Daddy Buddy was KIA.  Now that he is five years old I wanted to do something to help him put some pieces of the puzzle together.  He may not yet recognize that there is a puzzzle but I felt like it was important to do something too not only mark this five year milestone but too also give our little guy some memory of his daddy.

So upon he advice of Randy “Steam” Stevens (the SCPGR Captain) I decided on the Wreath Laying Ceremony.  And since this is a military service and I am a mere civilian it wasn’t the easiest thing to pull off.  I couldn’t have done it without the help of the South Carolina Patriot Guard Riders.  Their State Captain was instrumental in helping me manuever through the various agencies.  And if not for Senator Glenn McConnell the Color Guard would have been a highschool ROTC team.  But I felt like Buddy was a decorated soldier and he deserved real soldiers at this ceremony.  I think he’s earned much more than that.  And although one First Sergant from the South Carolina National Guard initially told me that they usually reserve Color Guards for dignateries or high ranking officials he changed his tune when the Senator’s office inquired.

The Ceremony was scheduled for 1400 hours that Sunday.  When I awoke that morning it was pouring down.  We had gotten over two inches of rain that night and depending on which forecast you looked at the forcast for the remainder of the day was 90%-100% chance of rain for the remainder of the day.  Great!

Fortunately the funeral home that helped with Buddy’s burial was nice enough to erect a tent and put out some chairs for us.  And they didn’t charge anything either!

Around 1230 hours the rain let up.  Since the cemetary is less than two miles from our home I decided to ride down there to check on things.  The tent wasn’t up yet.  I guess since we had thunderstorms the night before they layed the rug and chairs on the ground then placed the half-round tent top over that.

At 1320 hours I rode back down there to make sure the Color Guard and bugelar were there and too see if the tent was up.  There had been a number of challenges so I just wanted to let my family know if there was something not quite right.  The Color Guard was there and the tent was up but no bugelar yet.  I decided, what the heck, I wasn’t going to worry about anything else.  It would either come off or not.

I got a call from the SC Patriot Guard Riders and we were to meet them at a store parking lot so they could escort us down the highway and into the cemetary.  There were about twenty-five to thrity bikes with flags so it was an impressive entrance.  By now our prayers for no rain paid off.  The rain stopped!

When we arrived at the cemetary everyone was there.  We waited a few minutes to exit our vehicles so that the SCPGR could form their flag line.  The Color Guard was in place in their dress uniforms.  The OKNG soldiers were there (standing at attention) in their dress uniforms.  Our pastor was there.  The vocalist (the praise and worship leader at our local church) was there.  I didn’t see the bugelar but he should have been tucked away somewhere in the distance.  Everything was set.

Capt Rowland opened with a few short remarks about the ceremony followed the singing of the National Anthym.  Brad (the vocalist) later told me that he was scared to death about messing up the National Anthym with all those soldiers there.

Next Captain Rowland spoke about Sgt Buddy James “Doc” Hughie.  (And how interesting is it that as Captain Rowland began speaking that the sun actually brok through the clouds?)  As he spoke, I learned some more about Buddy.  I knew he had completed Advanced Infantry Training to perform the duties of an army medic.  However, I did not know that he had also successfully completed Advanced Infantry Training for both Engineering and Military Police!  Captain Rowland said that it was unusual to find a soldier who had completed two AITs and it was virtually unheard of to have a soldier in your unit that  haD completed three!  Sgt Hughie was a very accomplished soldier.  I also learned that day that when they were deployed to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina relief his unit found a survivor on day five.  Buddy administered life saving treatmentS to her.  Captain Rowland said the elderly woman was laying on her mattress for five days.  He said you could see the water mark on the walls where the flood waters had floated the mattress up to almost the ceiling.

Next our pastor spoke.  He not only spoke about Buddy (whom he knew) but he also spoke about heroes.  Not those who hit or catch or throw a ball but real heroes!  People who step outside their comfort zones.  People who are selfless.  People who will do whatever it takes, even or especially under dire circumstances, in spite of the risk to their own life.

I watched the soldiers, Buddy’s friends.  Captain Rowland had to stop twice to compose  himself when talking about Buddy.  The other three guys were almost ready to break down and openly cry but they kept it together.  It’s difficult to explain but it did me good to see their emotions still so raw after all these years.  They later told me that this is really the first time they had the chance to say goodby.

I was holding together pretty good… until taps began.  Something about that lone bugelar playing that sad song off in the distance.

After the Wreath Laying Ceremony it was time to adjourn to our community clubhouse where we all enjoyed a catered bar-b-que spread.  There were stories about Buddy’s life.  There were laughs.  But the best thing of all is the way our little grandson played with those big burly soldiers of the Oklahoma National Guard.  They picked him up like he was a rag doll and tossed him around.  To hear their laughs, to hear his little giggles to see all their smiles and watch them begin, what I believe will be a life-long relationship, was very healing for me.  And when he gets a little older I think our little grandson will appreciate not only his Daddy Buddy’s life but also appreciate his new soldier friends of the OKNG!

In spite of the circumstances that brought us to that day, Sunday, February 19, 2012 was a pretty good day.


September 13, 2011

Due to an injury I sustained several weeks ago I have had the fortune to be able to spend some time alone.  It’s a rare thing.  Having been able to just sit and think about my life has been revelational.  More so than just a fleeting thought would provide.

I have figured out what surely everyone else around me has known for years, that I am one heck of a critical person!  And the joke has been (on me) that I don’t even need to try to be critical.  It comes easy.  How sad is  that?

You see for more than two decades (literally) I have been one of the people on the Neighborhood Committee who sends you the letter about your lawn maintenance, your broken down car, your green slimed house and god forbid you don’t put your trash receptical away in a timely manner!

After all, we all knew when we moved into The Neighborhood that there were restrictive covenants.  Right?  So that’s the justification (for me).  You knew the rules coming in to the game, so don’t cry about you can’t do this or that.  Just fix it!  Your inability to adhere to the restrictive covenants is not only affecting your property values but it is affecting mine, your neighbors and the entire neighborhood as a whole!  Right?

Believe it or not I used to be such a positive person.  I even used to listen to positive motivational tapes “back in the day.”  Back then, if you didn’t actually like being around me you at least didn’t mind having me around.  But who in the world wants to hang around a guy who is critical about anything and everything.  If you have a wart it’s my responsibility to point it out.  After all, you’ve had the wart for a while now and no one else has pointed out.  Surely you want to get that wart treated.  Don’t you?  So now I find myself being the Wart Police and I don’t like it!  The thing is though, that I have allowed this criticalness to become sp deeply seated.  And I hate it!!

So I have determined that I need have to change the way I view life.  I have to change the way I interact with people.  I have to change the way I speak with people.  I have to change ME!

It finally dawned on me that this was one of the plans of the enemy for me (to become so critical).  You see that is how he does it.  He lies to you.  “What you are doing is a good thing.  People need to have their property investment protected.  You can make a worthwhile contribution.”  The enemy knows that if he throws something up in front of me that I can readily recognize as being ungodly or sinful that I will shy away from that.  But give me something that seems worthy and productive that I can slowly pervert and I can and will likely fall for that.

So change is coming.  I know it won’t be easy.  In fact it may be pretty darned difficult.  In fact in the days since I made known to the Neighborhood Board that I will no longer be involved with The Committee I have received no less than two phone calls and one email regarding some ongoing issues.  Sorry but I can no longer help with that.

I don’t recon that this change will be easy or happen over night, but change I must.  I must become the man my Creator imagined me to be when He intentionally created me.  I’ve lost too many years and damaged too many relationships.  I must love my neighbor.  I must speak life to my acquaintances (maybe a couple will become my friend in the process).

Change is in the air and I am taking deep breaths of it!


November 1, 2010



In the United States of America you can be fined $5K and jailed for tampering with an American Bald Eagle egg.

In the United States of America a female may (under the Obama Health Care Plan) be entitled to receive Federal (tax payer) money to remove the baby growing inside of her.

In other words, it is NOT your right to pluck out a bird but it is your right to pluck out a baby!

Dr. Terry Jones

September 8, 2010

I will not presume to know if you have heard the Word of the Lord as it relates to burning the Qur’an. 

I pray that you are crystal clear on the Message that you have received from Him.  If you are 100% clear that this action is of the Lord,you (of course) must proceed.  However, if this is in fact from the great deceiver then I pray that you receive revelation knowledge to that fact.

Holy Scripture tells me that His ways are Higher than mine and that I can not understand the mind of the Lord.  I surely do not understand how burning a Qur’an is showing those whom do not believe in Christ the Savior that He IS the only way to the Father.  Neither can I understand how stirring up more hatred is His way.  But it is not my “job” to understand what you are doing.  It is, however, my responsibility to pray for those in places of leadership.  I believe that for a season that is you Dr Terry Jones.  Pray I shall.  I shall pray that you have the strength, discernment and wisdom to follow the leading(s) of the Great I Am.  I shall pray that anything short of completely following Him that He will “interupt” you from any and all disobediance by the means He deems appropriate.  I pray that you have longevity of life.

1 Corenthians 8:7-13 speaks of us causing our brothers to stumble.  Additionally in Ezekiel 34 the Lord Speaks of the shephards’ responsibility as it relates to them (the shephards) causing the sheep to “not be fed.”

My family has suffered the deep sorrow that can only be felt through the killing (by a Taliban sniper) of one of our loved ones.  We miss our American Hero terribly.

Please take a moment to read what I wrote of those early days.  A series titled “DEATH AT THE FRONT DOOR” (parts 1-3).  It has been a very difficult journey to love those whom I can not understand. But in the end I have come to bettere understand that He IS in control and He does not NEED (nor require) me to help Him with His plan.

I am to love and pray and when necessary “shake the dirt from my sandals.”

Blessings to you as you remain obediant to His Calling.


August 26, 2010

And yes, I know it’s (current) name is NOT The Ground Zero Mosque. Officials originally decided to name the project Cordoba House.  Cordoba, Spain is a  medieval Spanish town that up until the year 711 was ruled by the Roman Empire.  However in that year (711) Cordoba was conquered by a Muslim army.  Due to the violant nature of Islam’s beginning there in Cordoba a public outcry soon rose from the (understandably) ourtaged citizens and the name of the project was then changed to that of a more generic and the seemingly acceptabl title of “Park51,” (the name to coincide with the physical address of the structure) and after all who can argue against a “Park.”

Seeing that our son-in-law, while serving as a combat army medic in Operation Enduring Freedom, was KIA by a Taliban (Muslim) sniper while saving the lives of  TWO MUSLIMS this subject has been a bit difficult for me to remain neutral.  But who says I (or anyone) has   to be neutral in anything they strongly believe in?  One of the sadest things about Buddy being KIA (besides our famly’s obvious life altering state) is that here was a caucasion man who volunteered to go to a foreign land, who was imbeded with the country’s local army, did not speak the local language (well), was of a different race, who was a Christian risking his very life to save the lives of Muslims and was shot and killed by another Muslim.

Back on track –

I will not go into all the specific particulars about this project because, honestly, it is just too difficult to determine what “facts” are truly facts.  That is not the purpose of this Blog post.  Those facts are easily ucovered.  The purpose of this Blog post is for me to state my views on this ongoing controversy… and, of course, to let everyone who wants to take the time to tell me how I am intollerant, an Islomophobe, a racist, uninformed and stupid to do so.  Goat head, I can take it.


Although the property’s owners have every right under the US Constitution to expand the current Mosque at that location into their Cultural Center they do not have an obligation to do so.   I believe the first obligation of any organization is to best serve their “clients.”  Although a larger facility with many, many more amenities available to their “clients” would benefit them, Park 51’s close proximity to Ground Zero gives the project  an air of  “you must tollerate and accept us.”    That sort of “in your face” attitude (no matter what words you use or how nicely you say it with a smile) just spews of intollerance itself!

When Imam Rauf, his wife Kahn and developer Gamal were asked in a Newsweek interview why the Mosque had to be built there their collective response was, “We want to provide a counter momentum against extremism,” she said. “We want peace, and we want it where it matters most. This is where it matters most.”   Wait, wait, wait – They say here their stated purpose is “to provide a counter momentum against extremism”.  Further stating THEY want “peace and we want it where it matters most.”  “THEY” want.  “WE” want.   Apparrently it matters very little (if at all) what the citizens who were affected most by the murder of their loved ones, friends and fellow citizens want!  What WE (the Muslims) want is paramount!  Go figure.

Here is where it becomes a bit muddled for me.  I think it is easiest to understand the developer’s goal.  He wants to make money.  That is easy enough to understand.  The structure was damaged by landing gear from one of the Muslim Suicide Planes on 9/11 and he wants to sell the property to cash in on his investment.  Understandable.

However, less clear (to me) is the motivation of Rauf, Kahn and their ardent supporters.  If the true goal is PEACE then, to even the dim whitted individual, it should be clear by now that true peace in today’s emotionally and politically charged climate will not soon be found at a site so close to where Muslim Extremist Terrorist took out an entire zip code!

Seriously, where should the main focus be?  IF  the stated goal is  PEACE, should the pressing through of a (peaceful)  faith’s Constitutional Right of Religious Freedom be the paramount goal in such a painful area as this?!  OR could TRUE PEACE be better found some distance away from the proposed “Park 51” project?  And remember Rauf’s, Kahn’s and Gamal’s stated intentions, “We want to provide a counter momentum against extremism,”.  Their goal is not too better serve their “clients.”  Their goal is to provide a counter momentum against extremism.”

It is my (correct) opinion that while being so adamant and extreme in their current stance as to the Cultural Center’s location, they are failing miserably in their stated goal and purpose.

Once again it appears that there are losers on both sides of this issue.  How tragic for everyone.


May 31, 2010

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.

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