Don St. Martin with the Patriot Guard Riders from Springdale stands at attention as the family of Sgt. Buddy James Hughie arrives at Poteau High School for his funeral Sunday afternoon. Hughie, formerly of Poteau, died Feb. 19 in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. Hundreds of residents turned out for the services, held in Sherman Floyd Fieldhouse.
Sgt. Buddy James Hughie was killed in Afghanistan last week while attempting to rescue wounded allies. Yesterday a funeral was held in Poteau, Oklahoma. The sad story is here…..
Poteau residents gathered Sunday to celebrate the life and mourn the loss of a soldier who died in Afghanistan while attempting to rescue wounded allies.
Members of the community, including numerous soldiers of various ranks, gathered en masse for the funeral of Sgt. Buddy James Hughie, a National Guardsman and Poteau native who was killed Feb. 19 when he attempted to save the lives of two Afghan Army soldiers.
Hughie’s funeral was held in Poteau High School’s Sherman Floyd Fieldhouse, a gymnasium large enough to accommodate the hundreds of family, friends, neighbors and loved ones who arrived to honor the 25-year-old soldier who often reassured them with his smile and compassion.
“Buddy was a wonderful boy,” Leighanna Guillet, a Poteau kindergarten teacher, said. “He was a very friendly person, always smiling, always happy.”
Read on. There is much more to learn about this brave young man.
This article has much more about Sgt. Hughie…..
“This was a soldier who cared more about others than he did himself,” said Brig. Gen. Myles L. Deering, the commander of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade.
“He didn’t have to be in Afghanistan, he didn’t have to serve that 45 days in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. He was there because he believed in what he was doing. More importantly, he backed those beliefs by action.”
It was not Hughie’s first trip overseas. He was in Afghanistan during 2002-03 and had volunteered for a second tour of duty.
Sympathy and gratitude was showered on Hughie’s family Sunday.
Lt. Gov. Jari Askins said Hughie was a true hero
who epitomized selfless service to the state and country.
“He faced an enemy with courage and bravery and left a legacy of a true patriot,” she said.
Prayer offered comfort to Hughie’s family. A few of his favorite songs, including “O Holy Night” and “Amazing Grace,” were played.
A slide show captured moments of Hughie’s life, including times with his sister and friends, marching band, baseball, his wedding and nuzzling his newborn son.
Family members said he loved to play the piano and trombone. He was active in the Boy Scouts and Poteau Valley Baptist Church.
He was taught to read by age 3, and later preached and recited Scripture from a stump in his back yard.
He was said to be full of energy and always smiling.
“Even though he had a short life, he had a full life,” said the Rev. Jim Parsley, who officiated at the memorial service.
Hughie was killed by small-arms fire in Nuristan province in northeastern Afganistan. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry with the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
His unit was on a joint mission with the Afghan National Army and the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.
The joint force came under attack from an enemy firing gunshots and rocket-propelled grenades.
Hughie and his team members got off their vehicle and returned fire. Two Afghan army soldiers were wounded. Hughie was shot and killed when he left his covered position to give them medical assistance.
The 180th is assigned to train soldiers in the Afghan National Army.
Hughie graduated from Poteau High School in 2000.
He will be buried in Charleston, S.C.
He is survived by his wife, Alexis Hughie, 23, of South Carolina, and their son, Cooper, who was born in November.
He’s also survived by the grandparents who raised him, Kenneth and Delores Hughie; his mother, Julie Hicks; a sister, Jennifer Claiborn; a brother, Dennis Hicks; and his great-grandparents Andrew “Buddy” and Dimple Rogers.
Hughie is the second service member from Poteau to die in the war on terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Doyle W. Bollinger Jr., 21, was killed June 6, 2003, in Iraq. Bollinger and Hughie were both members of Poteau Valley Baptist Church.
Hughie was also the second member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard to die in a combat zone since 2001.
Kyle A. (Showler) Brinlee, 21, of Pryor was killed May 11, 2004, in Iraq when a bomb exploded near his vehicle.
Task Force Phoenix 5 pays tribute to Sgt. Hughie, who was one of their own.
Hawk has more about Sgt. Hughie and calls him an American Hero. He also writes this….
SGT Hughie’s heroic story isn’t told to make you feel sad. It is to
make you feel proud as Americans that soldiers like SGT Hughie exist.
And reminds us all to count our blessings. Hold our loved ones closer.
Play with our kids more. Because you just never know.
This is who your congress is trying to back stab.