Chaplain's Corner -April 2022

All of us in life have trials and challenges. Some more than others. However, it's how we handle and go through those experiences that make a difference in our existence and future.

In one of our MOAA Luncheons, I was sitting on the same table with my very dear friends, Col Pitt and his sweet wife, a very special friend of mine, Julie. Col Pitt, Bob, was relating some experiences that his grandson had gone through in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is how he shared his grandson's story:

My grandson, Buddy, was born in 30 July 1985. He was named Michael, after his father. However, he was known as Buddy from early childhood.

He grew up in a small town of Cambria, CA, near Hearst Castle, where he starred in Football and Baseball at the Coast Union High School.

Buddy was anxious to join the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. I tried to persuade him to go to col- lege and join the Marines as an officer. However, he insisted that he was going to enlist and get into the fight. So, at age 17 he joined the Marines and at age 18, he was fighting in Iraq. Buddy was trained to be a Humvee machine gunner.

Early in his tour, his Humvee was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. The grenade killed his best friend, Geoffrey, and injured the rest of the crew. Buddy was awarded his first purple heart metal.

Later, while again serving as a Humvee gunner, Buddy's vehicle hit a land mine, killing his Sergeant and wounding the rest of the crew. Buddy was awarded his second purple heart metal.

Because of his injuries, Buddy was discharged from service after two years of active duty. He returned to Cambria, CA and started a Tree Service Business, " Big Tree ". He later married and on 28 Aug ,2009, became a Father of a boy, whom he named, Geoffrey, after his best friend.

After living in Cambria, CA, the majority of his life, in Oct 2021 because of the oppressive regulations on businesses in CA, Buddy sold his business and moved to Tennessee where he bought 251 acres of trees. Also, on 4 Nov 2021, Buddy became the father of his second child, a girl named, " Aponi ", which means " Butterfly ", in an American Indian Dialect.

Buddy's strong will of being an overcomer is such a powerful example and model of how people that go through such hard trials and hardships can survive by making negative experiences into positive ones and showing that we all can learn from his challenges.

His story is beautiful of inspirational endeavors that can only be accomplished by the hand of God and by believing in himself knowing that Heavenly Father would give him the strength that he needed, through His Son, to continue, successfully and triumphantly to live a happy and wonderful life.

Mrs. Connie Sullivan
Chapter Chaplain