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 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 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.


December 13, 2011

I just finished reading an article in CHARISMA NEWS.  The article is about the new law the Democratic led government in California passed (SB 40) and Governor Brown signed.

SB 40 goes into effect in California public schools in January 2012.  You can view the CHARISMA NEWS article here

I find this to be very disturbing!  Social engineering is NOT  what the government should be doing with our children.  Why don’t we try actually concentrating on the science, math and reading skills of our children?  How much further down the scale will we allow our public schools to slide before we stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

And just how do you explain to a child in kindergarten, first or second grade about LGBTs?  Is that really what classroom instruction time should be used for?  Well according to the lawmakers in California it is!

You see first those of us in the “straight camp” were expected to tolerate the LGBTs.  Then we were expected to accept the LGBTs.  Now it seems we are supposed to allow our children to be taught to worship them?! 

I will admit I am Old School.  I remember learning about events in history.  I remember learning about people in history.  I don’t remember learning about what sort of sex people were having in school.  And you know what?  Things were okay too.  But now we have to have our children taught about what sort of sex people are having and that they (the children) need to be okay with that or they will be in BIG TROUBLE!

Why can one class of people force their views down the throats of those with differing views?  And don’t try to give me that bull about, “If I don’t openly endorse your life style I am, somehow, intollerant of you.”  Big deal.   I can’t make anyone have sex or stop having sex!



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!


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.


March 11, 2011

Much has been written about the Lenten season  I don’t suppose my little ramblings will change much.

In my personal opinion the Church Doctrine of Lent has become a means of allowing many people who say they are Christians to pretty much do as the please throughout the remainder of the year.  However when Lent rolls around these same “sayers” will give up some food group or stop using some technology that consumes a portion of their day or heck, some may even practice acts of benevolence!  But what are these same people replacing those voids in their life with?  During any other time of the year if someone gives up a specific food group what is it called?  It’s a diet.  Right?  If someone takes a break from  technology what is that called?  Maybe a vacation?  If someone practices sporadic acts of benevolence what is that about?  Making the giver feel good about what they are doing?

On the other hand, when people determine that the Holy Spirit (not the calender) is calling them to change destructive patterns of behavior in their life and they obey His leading then there can be true, daily and lasting transformation(s).  The old has passed away…

I think if you approach the season of Lent with the view of “look how bad or slack I’ve been” the enemy has already won.  Guilt does not come from the Lord.  On the other hand, if you approach the season of Lent with the view of  “what daily changes can I make in my life to reflect the teachings of the Savior and too become more Christ-like” then you may be heading in the right direction.

So, are you being lead by the days on a calender or some Church Doctrine?  Or are you seeking The One Who created time?  The former leads to spiritual death.  The later leads to Life eternal.

The choice has always been ours to make.  Choose wisely.