Today Auburn beat the University of Kentucky on the basketball court for the third time straight. It’s the first time we’ve ever won three in a row. When I lived in Kentucky we never beat UK in men’s basketball.
That’s why I focussed on football.
The early 2000’s were good days for Auburn football. And I was just mischievous enough to bring it up whenever possible. Even in the pulpit.
One Sunday during announcements I announced that Auburn had won the day before just to because I use humor as a defense mechanism and maybe to poke the wildcat just a little bit. And to my surprise I received a “War Eagle” from a visitor in the congregation.
After worship I met the guests. They were in town visiting his mother, Mary Moore, one of our oldest members. His name was Hal.
Lieutenant General Harold Moore Jr.
You probably know him as Col. Hal, played by Mel Gibson in “We Were Soldiers”.
I had no idea of any of that at the time. This was before the movie. We connected more over our common Bardstown and Auburn ties. We knew a lot of the same folks and places.
They would visit several more times during my four years in Kentucky. Around the time the movie came out his mother turned 100. And Lt. Gen. Hal and wife and kids returned to celebrate. It was a real honor to know him.
I never considered military service a possible career path until I was already out of college. But I think I would’ve enjoyed it. Most of the best folks I’ve ever met were soldiers or sailors. From active military engineers at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville to Pilots at NAS in Pensacola, there’s something about service that makes for good people.
Of course that shouldn’t surprise us. An adult life formed seeking to serve more than being served should put one right in line with Jesus.
I know if I start naming names I’m going to leave someone that I love out, so I’ll just name two who I love very much: Col. Joe and Capt. Chuck.
Col. Joe Jones flew B-52’s in Vietnam. Those are the big ones. He’s a badass. I spend as much time with him as I can. Lunch at least once a month.
Capt. Chuck Kuba, also a badass, is still serving. He’s also a pilot but he flies the fast ones. (That’s Navy lingo). I’m getting to see him next week after a year-long deployment.
Col. Joe, Chachi, thanks. And thanks to all of you out there serving to keep uncivil civilians like me free enough to piss everyone off with my free Facebook speech.
Col. Hal, See you on the other side. War Eagle.