February 2007

26 Feb 2007 06:26 pm



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…..

Sgt. Buddy James Hughie

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.

25 Feb 2007 10:19 pm

Fun driving in New York City.

This article by Andy Raskin makes the New York Times worth reading today.

FOR my third date with Tracy I’m taking her to the Sum Hey Rice Shoppe in Manhattan. Every Long Island family has a favorite restaurant in Chinatown, and ours is the Sum Hey Rice Shoppe. “You’re going to love this place,” I tell her. “When I was a kid I used to order pork chow mai fun and smear it on the plate with ketchup.”

Tracy beams at me from the passenger seat. She clearly likes that I’m already sharing family stuff.

I wait for the pedestrians to clear before turning off Canal onto Mott. At Bayard I take a left. “There’s the restaurant,” I say. “You want to get out and I’ll go park?”

“Nah,” Tracy says. “I’ll help you find a spot.”


Read on. It’s worth it.

It brings to mind the legendary tales in our family of the male’s use of their vehicles to woo their women, transport their children, and get the best parking places.

When I taught my son to drive we were living in Panama and driving seemed to come natural to him. It didn’t take much effort on my part. The only problem I had with him was speed. He had to learn to slow down when coming to a stop.

Our daughters took to driving like little ducks to water and most of their practice took place in parking lots at The Army War College. There was only one thing I couldn’t teach them….parallel parking. I never attempt to park in that sideways fashion so didn’t have anything to offer them.

So I called in the expert, their Dad. My husband is such a diligent teacher that he will stick with his students until they get the lesson, no matter what the lesson is and no matter how long it takes. He has enormous patience. Although our son gladly sat for hours with his Papa studying math, our daughters avoided any tutoring from their Dad like the plague.

But the girls had to learn to parallel park, so we had to call in the big gun. I will never forget how easy my husband made it look and how expert his ability when parking parallel. Our daughters were enormously impressed and so was I. Even though my husband had lost his peripheral vision after a detached retina caused by a double feed on an M14 resulting in a rifle explosion while he was a cadet at West Point, he has always been able to compensate for that little disability and can park any vehicle expertly in the tightest of spots.

When our son was a cow at West Point and he and his fellow cadets were eligible for a low-interest car loan we expected he would want to buy a hot new car, but no, that genetic love of old cars showed up in him. He bought a 1969 Mustang from a fellow cadet. The car had no emergency brake and had a lot of other negatives but that didn’t matter to him. I could write a book about the situations that Mustang has gotten me in but that is for another day.


The 1969 Mustang at Smurf Village in Carlisle Barracks, PA
before massive body work.

After our son’s graduation from West Point we planned to go to New York City to celebrate for a few days. Knowing about the parking situation in New York City we talked my husband into taking the train from West Point to NYC and leaving the cars at West Point. He was miffed the whole time we were on the train, most likely thinking of the missed opportunities to impress the kids with his driving. As much fun as the train ride was we regretted not driving in after taking some terrifying taxi rides.

When we were living at Fort Eustis, Virginia in 1989 my parents and paternal grandmother came to visit us from Arkansas. After their stay with us they drove up to Maine to see my sister, brother-in-law and baby girl. On the way back home my Dad decided to drive through New York City. I think my grandmother’s hair turned completely white on that trip but my Dad loved telling stories about the “yankee” drivers.


My Dad, my sister and my son after going out for a drive in the old car.

My brother (the oldest one) was fascinated with cars early on and used to sneak the keys to our Dad’s antique cars and drive them around the yard. One day he and my sister took a car out on the road but a few blocks away the axle on the car broke. They were so busted.


My youngest brother also loved antique cars and spent most of his teenage years restoring his Merc. He had almost completed the restoration the day he drove the car to church. After church we were all shocked and my brother was heartbroken when an elderly man backed his car into the Merc in the church parking lot.

At one time my Dad had ten antique cars in his yard. The city won’t allow that now so he’s sold off all but one car. When we were kids our dad owned a black forty eight Chevy and he kept that car in great shape. We drove in it on roadtrips (no air conditioning) and to some of Daddy’s fast pitch softball tournaments.

I didn’t learn about class snobbery until I was in the seventh grade and Daddy drove me to school in the Chevy. A few kids made fun of the car since it was so old. The criticism sort of bothered me but I didn’t really understand it because the Chevy was such a cool car. Watching my Dad drive that car taught me a lot about driving. My first driving lesson actually occurred in that car and thank goodess it happened in a college parking lot on a weekend.

I almost ran into one of the buildings of the college and Daddy had to grab the steering wheel. We had a lot of conversations in that car throughout my growing up years. Daddy used to take us out for a drive on Sunday evenings, along with our dog, Cookie and I remember noticing the street lights when I was very little.

Daddy taught me all about multiplication tables, patterns and number correlations when we were out driving. He also gave me some good advice when I was approaching my dating years. He advised me that when a boy asked me to go parking, just to pretend not to hear what he said and instead, ask him if he heard a dog barking. That became my standard response when asked that question. I even said it to the date who eventually became my husband.

Cars in our family were never brand new and always needed some kind of repair but our family made memories while traveling on short and long trips and the conversations we had have never left me.

Two weeks before my late father-in-law died of cancer he decided to go out for one last drive in his car. My husband and I took the ride with him and it turned out to be wild. Because of his weakness, my father-in-law had trouble steering and came very close to a head-on collision. Finally, my husband convinced him to pull over so that he could drive. That was really a sad moment actually. Letting go of that wheel was very hard for him.

23 Feb 2007 06:09 pm

During World War ll the American troops’ communications were censored for operational security. In this upside down world with the internet reaching even into tents in Iraq, our troops are reading some really distressing, depressing and disgusting news of the Democrats’ attempts to redefine the mission, (in other words to slow bleed the troops) hence, giving them no support. There is really no other way to look at it.

An email from Iraq……

I don’t like the sound of this article.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she expects the next challenge to Bush’s war policies to come in the form of legislation requiring the Pentagon to adhere to strict training and readiness standards in the case of troops ticketed for the war zone.”

In other words, they will try to limit units based on training, which means what? We get extended if the unit replacing us is deemed not trained or ready (according to the new standards they would implement, throwing new standards for deployment in in the middle of a war screws those on the ground).

Pelosi and Reid’s legislation would not just affect the troop surge. For example, someone has to clear the big road, so either all the troops leave now or the Democrats quit trying to interfere, screwing things up with their stupidity and ineptness.

The other thing is this…..restricting what we can do. That is flaming stupid. It will not make things more secure by any means if we are no longer allowed to go after insurgents. I mean that’s insane! Some of these idiots in the Senate need to spend some actual time on the ground here.

I think the one thing I’ve learned is that I don’t care for politicians. My litmus test for who I vote for will be whether they believe we should use the same rules of engagement that we had during WW2 or not.

Well, that eliminates any Democrat.

23 Feb 2007 12:53 pm


Asta is waiting for his girl.


Amos is too.

She’s away at lawschool and her babies are living with us until she graduates.

So they wait.

They heard a little bird whisper she might be visiting this weekend.


This has to be seen to be believed. Kyle the cat has a new career.


Many cats are aboard the Friday Ark #127. Go see!

23 Feb 2007 01:35 am


President George W. Bush shakes hands with General George Washington, played by actor Dean Malissa, following President Bush’s address at the Mount Vernon Estate, Monday, Feb. 19, 2007 in Mount Vernon, Va., honoring Washington’s 275th birthday. White House photo by Eric Draper

Today is the 275th anniversary of the birth of our first President, George Washington. President George W. Bush paid a visit to America’s homeplace, Mount Vernon this past Monday. Having been to Mount Vernon many times I was pleased to see President Bush make the visit.

On one visit to Mount Vernon we purchased George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Bahvior In Company and Conversation.

When George Washington was fifteen years old, he copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595.

While some of the rules are dated many of them are just as valid today.

Richard Brookhiser, in his book on Washington wrote that “all modern manners in the western world were originally aristocratic. Courtesy meant behavior appropriate to a court; chivalry comes from chevalier – a knight. Yet Washington was to dedicate himself to freeing America from a court’s control. Could manners survive the operation? Without realizing it, the Jesuits who wrote them, and the young man who copied them, were outlining and absorbing a system of courtesy appropriate to equals and near-equals. When the company for whom the decent behavior was to be performed expanded to the nation, Washington was ready. Parson Weems got this right, when he wrote that it was ‘no wonder every body honoured him who honoured every body.’”

Here are a few.

Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play’d Withal.

Reproach none for the Infirmities of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.

Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.

When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always show Pity to the Suffering Offender.

Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.

In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physician if you be not Knowing therein.

Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.

When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it.

Wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.

Use no Reproachful Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile.

Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ‘is better to be alone than in bad Company.

Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.

Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.

When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.

Let your recreations be manful not sinful.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

The cherry preserves found at the Gift Shop at Mount Vernon are delicious.

21 Feb 2007 11:58 pm

On the same day Tony Blair announced a withdrawal of some 1,600 troops in the coming months we get confirmation that Prince Harry will deploy with his squadron to Iraq.

Prince Harry and his squadron from The Blues and Royals have received their marching orders to deploy to Iraq in May despite yesterday’s announcement that 1,600 British troops will be withdrawn at that time.

Second Lieutenant (or Cornet) Wales will be leaving with A Squadron The Blues and Royals, Household Cavalry, as part of the next rotation of troops for Operation Telic.

As Tony Blair made his long-awaited statement that British forces can start thinking of returning home, the Prime Minister refused to apologise for the Iraq war. Facing calls from MPs to take responsibility for the chaos that came after the invasion, Mr Blair declared that terrorism would be defeated “when we do not apologise for our values but stand up for them”.

No details have been given about the Prince’s responsibilities, but he is likely to serve with his squadron wherever it is deployed. This could mean being posted to Maysan province for reconnaissance along the border with Iran. Prince Harry has already made his wishes clear. He wants to be with his squadron, not locked away in a staff job in a heavily protected base.

There is more…..

And there is this……

Harry, youngest son of heir to the throne Prince Charles, has always said he wanted to put his training into practice.

“There is no way I am going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country,” the red-headed prince said in an interview to mark his 21st birthday.

“That may sound very patriotic, but it’s true,” said Harry, once dubbed a royal “wild child” for his underage drink and drugs antics.

This post at Wikipedia on Henry V of England needs some editing. Someone doesn’t like Shakespeare. It’s under the heading Role in government and conflict with Henry IV.

21 Feb 2007 08:56 pm

One day when I was a little girl I asked my mom about Mormons. We went to a Southern Baptist church and I may have heard something about them (probably negative) there and I was curious. My mother, being a Presbyterian at heart, had a lot of good sense. She told me that Mormons were another type of Christian denomination and were very good people.

I left it at that. When I started to grow as a Christian in my thirties I began to read some Christian books and discovered that Mormons were listed as a cult in Dr. Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults. But about the same time I met the Mathis Family.

The very best neighbors we have ever had, the Mathis family, were Mormons. They were a military family with five children and are some of the finest people I have ever known. We were living in Indianapolis for a few months when they moved next door and it wasn’t long before we became acquainted. The Dad was an Air Force Colonel in the medical field, the Mom stayed at home with their kids who happened to be close to the same age as our children.

While we sent our children to Christian school our neighbors enrolled their kids in the local public school. I felt very comfortable allowing our kids to interact with the kids next door. They were taught manners, values, kindness, honesty, compassion and love of family. When my husband had his motorcycle wreck the Mathis family was there for us, watching our children so I could go see about him in the hospital.

Our family shared picnics with the Mathis family and our children became best friends. At Halloween our kids and the Mathis kids put on their costumes and we took them trick or treating. At Easter the Mathis kids came over to our house for the Easter Egg Hunt. I loved to go sit down for a visit with Mrs. Mathis as she always had good advice on child-rearing, and practical housekeeping. She helped me figure out how to get the ring out of the tub, she was a friend to me.

One day another family moved in across the street from us. (I can’t remember their name) The man had been a missionary to South America and his wife was from one of the South American countries. The scoop in the neighborhood was that he was involved in some kind of weird liberal evangelical organization. (if there ever was such a thing) We had the son of this family over a few times since he was close to our son’s age but we soon were discouraging our son from playing with him because the boy had such a potty mouth and actually seemed kind of disturbed.

A few months later the man from across the street came over and requested that I sign a petition against Dr. and Mrs. Mathis because they were members of the PTA and involved with Boy Scouts at the school and the lib evangelical believed that they shouldn’t be allowed to have a role in the public school.

After the man made that statement I looked up at his face just to be sure he didn’t have fangs and just closed the door in his face. It astounded me that the man could have anything against the Mathis family and it angered me that anyone could be so bigoted.

After that incident happened it brought home to me the fact that Mormons were still being discriminated against by many people, even by some who call themselves Christians. The contrast between the two families, the kindnesses the Mathis family dished out to us daily and the creepy liberal evangelical’s hateful bigotry and his families instability was quite stark.

The bigotry displayed towards Mitt Romney by the MSM because of his religion is disgusting. I have personally witnessed the faith and love that Mormons have for their families, their communities, their religion and their country. So many of them serve in the U.S. military. Right now my choice in the Presidential election is between Romney and Giuliani. Both men are human and have their flaws but if they are equally as strong on national security it will be a hard choice. And the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon will not play any role at all in my decision because, like my mother said, Mormons are very good people.

Hugh Hewitt has written a book about Mitt Romney. I’m ordering it.

21 Feb 2007 08:37 am

The Democrats and White Flag Republicans may eschew the word victory but the American people don’t.

February 21, 2007 — In a dramatic finding, a new poll shows a solid majority of Americans still wants to win the war in Iraq - and keep U.S. troops there until the Baghdad government can take over.

Strong majorities also say victory is vital to the War on Terror and that Americans should support President Bush even if they have concerns about the way the war is being handled, according to the survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies.

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans supported “finishing the job in Iraq” - keeping U.S. troops there until the Iraqis can provide security on their own. Forty-one percent disagreed.

There is more…..

Welcome Sissy Willis readers!

20 Feb 2007 09:17 pm


My cousin, Air Force Major Craig Perry just returned from a six-month deployment to Baghdad, Iraq. While he was there, he was in charge of a unit which investigates roadside bombs.

Craig has some great photos of his time there and a memorial to those in his unit who were lost.

Some in Craig’s unit were extended for the surge and as Blackfive reveals, these troops are the essence of what is great about America.

Welcome Blackfive and Sisu visitors!

20 Feb 2007 01:12 am

Acute Politics’ Teflon Don is the kind of young man every mother and father would be proud to claim as their own but as a mother, reading his account of a day in Iraq makes me grab for my heart because it simply takes my breath away. May God watch over every step he takes and bring him home safely. We need such young men in our world. May he have many more sunrises and sunsets.

I left the billets early tonight for the mission. I racked my machine gun in the cradle, and sat on top of the truck. I plugged in my iPod, took a sip of coffee, and sat back to watch the sunset. Somehow, the setting sun always seems to look better here than at home; the sunsets are the one beautiful thing about this place. I watch as the dying sun slowly sinks, its rays falling across sand, mud, guard towers, satellite dishes, and all the other things that have come to mean home for a time. The sky is brilliant with golds and crimsons- here and there a tendril of flame licks up a wisp of cloud.

Some say the world will end in fire/Some say in ice/From what I’ve tasted of desire/I hold with those who favor fire

The sun has set, and Venus shines low in the sky in poor reflection. The others are starting to straggle out to the vehicles. It’s time to prep for the mission. Tonight, we’re going back up into the general area where we lost three of ours so shortly ago- not the same road- and this is the first time we’ve been back that way. I look around at my friends and try to read their faces. They could be scared, and most of us are, a little. They could be numb- just doing their job. Again, most of us are, a little. However, I think that most of us are out for blood. It might sound horrible, inhuman, even medieval, but the fact of the matter is that someone out there killed friends of ours, and we’re going back into a place where we just might get the guy that did it. We’ll never know if it was him, of course, but there’s always the chance that we’ll even the scales unknowingly.

There is much more. Please read it.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden

Welcome Sissy Willis Readers!

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