Monday, February 26, 2007

A hero...

Well I’m up here in Maser e Sharif for a few days covering a couple of NATO events. That got cancelled and now I’m sitting up here in a blizzard freezing my bottom off wishing I was back at Phoenix!! But I wanted to make sure I updated everyone about all the stuff going on a couple days before I left.

Saturday we had a big HA drop at a Kindergarten in Polacharkee. We handed out over 200 bags of clothes and shoes and 150 backpacks filled with school supplies. So far all the shoe money I have collected has been spent on shoes and we have bought over 400 pairs and when I get back I plan on buying about 300 to 400 more!!! I’m so happy everyone has helped out so much and I appreciate it SO SO much, thank you. Also some of the money has been used to buy medical supplies for our MedCaps. We spend about 600-700 dollars every time we have a MedCap and that is all from donations from large companies or individuals back in Oklahoma. But since we have been doing so well with the Afghan Children’s Fund we started using some of that money since we were running very low on funds for the MedCaps. I just want you all to know what the donations are being used for and that they are being used for a wonderful cause.

I will put pictures up from the HA drop as soon as I get back to Phoenix in a few days. They are on my computer back there, but the pictures of Sgt. Hughie I took the night before we left for MEZ. Anyway school starts up in a little under a month over here after their winter break. So I wanted to put out the word that school supplies will be needed soon. Any and every type is perfect, pens, paper, crayons, scissors, pencils. Anything is useful so send what you can. I know A LOT of people have sent all kinds of things over here for the people of Afghanistan so I know some of yall are tapped out. But send what you can because every kid over here needs a pen. We plan on having a big school supply drop within the next few weeks so I will make sure you all see pictures of how wonderful it is. So for those of you who don’t know the address here it is and I hope I get as much support as I did with all the winter clothes and shoes!!!

Michael Larkin
Camp Phoenix, AF
APO, AE 09320


We had Sgt Hughie’s memorial service on Saturday the 24th. I think that was one of the toughest things I’ve sat through since I lost one of my close friends in High School. Like I said in my other blog I didn’t know Sgt Hughie as well as his friends in his Company but I had met him and had a few conversations with him. But I took it hard; all I could think about was his wife and son. How they will never see him again and how Cooper will grow up only knowing his father as a hero and not ever remembering who he was as a Dad. I thought about Buddy’s mom and what she must be going through losing her son. I grew up a big Mommas boy and I know my mom would be devastated if she lost me. I feel so bad for his family, I feel bad for every family who has lost a soldier, but Sgt. Hughie was one of our guys an Oklahoma boy who was trying to do everything he could to save a fallen Afghan soldier and in the process he lost his life trying to save someone else’s. Losing Sgt. Hughie this way is a little more difficult than a car wreck or some accident. We never want to stand there and see his boots resting under his dog tags that are draped over a rifle that will never be used by that soldier again.

This is a tough life to live and a very tough career. We know what were doing when we sign that dotted line but we never know just what it will bring until we have nights like the 19th and 24th. I did tear up and choke up a few times I’m not going to try and be a tough guy or anything like that. It was hard to see our Commanders and Sergeants get choked up and cry. That’s the last thing those guys ever want to do is bury a soldier. I don’t want to have to see that again and I hope we get through this mission and back home to all of our families without another fallen hero.

I’m not sure if you have ever been to a Military Funeral or Memorial. But at the end of the ceremony one the Sergeants or Officers will call out the Fallen Soldiers name along with others from his squad or platoon. It’s called the last roll call… It went like this and its one of the hardest things to listen to. First Sergeant Robert Maxwell called the names of Sgt. Hughie’s fellow soldiers as they shouted, "Here First Sergeant." 1SG then called out "Sgt. Hughie." Silence. "Sgt. Buddy Hughie." Silence. "Sgt. Buddy James Hughie." Silence. The Bugler then plays taps and I always flinch at the 21 gun salute.

Sergeant Buddy Hughie 19FEB2007



Take care Buddy, you can count on the Brits to support you!

Flag Gazer said...

Your tribute to Sgt Hughie is quite beautiful and moving. A friend is a 1SG and he shared a story of reading the last roll call while in Iraq - none of us had dry eyes.

So glad to see that your projects are going so well! Look forward to the pictures.

Sean said...

I'm truly sorry for your loss. I was with TF Phoenix III when we lost 4 of our people in March of 2005. All the people were like SGT Hughie, well liked and all regarded kindly.

Ron Simpson said...

I came over from Dub's site. I heard about Sgt Hughie on the radio. It touched me. I posted the press release from Gov Henry on my blog. I feel for his wife and kid. My greatest fear is something happening to me and my childred growing up not knowing me. I admire what you are doing there. Keep up the good work.

Angry African said...

Buddy's father-in-law is a blogger "friend". I was thinking of buddy on the 11th. When remembering all those who have fallen.

I'm not from the US. But I hope and pray for the safety of everyone daily.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you all for your service to our Country, and pray that SGT Hughie's family has strength in knowing so many loved him. I have a son-in-law at the Camp named for him, so we have a long-distance personal relationship with him. I pray for all our men and women in the armed forces for their strength and safety. God Bless.