The State Senate on Tuesday afternoon honored Oklahoma soldier Buddy Hughie, who was killed last week on a mission in Afghanistan.
Senate Resolution 12, authored by Senator Kenneth Corn, was heard before the Senate and praised the heroism of Sergeant Buddy Hughie and mourned his loss.
“There is no way we can ever repay Sergeant Hughie for his sacrifice, and for his dedication to serve his country,” said Sen. Corn, D-Poteau. “This man gave his life to serve and we honor his sacrifice – I hope this resolution in a small way can express our appreciation.”
A 2000 graduate of Poteau High School, Hughie attended summer ROTC programs during high school and joined the military as soon as he was eligible. Hughie’s first overseas deployment was to Afghanistan in 2002 with the 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry. Upon his return, he was sent to New Orleans for 45 days to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Along with his unit, Hughie saved the life of a woman who had been trapped in her house for nearly two weeks.
Hughie was not required to redeploy to Afghanistan but he had requested to return last summer as part of a multinational task force supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. It was there that Hughie was killed in an attempt to aid fallen comrades.
Hughie and his unit were providing security for trainers and trainees with the Afghan National Army and the United States Army 10th Mountain Division when they came under small-arms and grenade fire. Hughie left his position in an effort to provide medical aid to two fallen soldiers and was shot and killed on February 19, 2007.
This marked the first time in more than a century that the 180th Infantry Division, headquartered in Durant, had lost a soldier in combat. Hughie is the second service member from Poteau to die in the war and the fourth soldier from LeFlore County.
“Sgt. Hughie’s request to return to Afghanistan is indicative of the dedication and passion for service he exhibited throughout his life,” Corn said. “He is a hero and will not be forgotten. He is an example of the best that our state and our military have to offer.”