I got an email from Moni Jefferson (https://www.monijeffersonpr.com/) about Ashley Bugge. Moni does PR work and has a whole part of her business focused on the military. As I read the email, I realized I had heard the name before. Last year her husband, Brian Bugge, died in a scuba diving accident. Moni asked me to reach out and see if Ashley would come on Oscar Mike Radio.
Ashley and I connected, and set a time to record. I asked her about her husband and what his Navy career meant to her. It was clear they were in love and having a family was important to them.
She went to describe the accident, and how in just a little over a year life completely changed. However, I didn’t hear any complaining or regrets when Ashley was talking about what happened. Instead she talked about the idea of “No Bucket Lists”.
No Bucket Lists, means living life to the fullest every day. Ashley and Brian believed the life is a gift to be treasured. They wanted their children to be a part of what they were doing so no one was left out or behind. Living life this way didn’t allow for regrets. I believe that came across clearly when talking with Ashley. Yes, a terrible accident struck the Bugge family, but Ashley believes that finding a way to move forward would be what Brian would want. As terrible as this was, her message of resilience and perseverance can speak to all of us.
Find out More
Go to https://www.ashleybugge.com/ to find out more about the Bugge’s story. Ashley is writing a book about her family’s story. I want to say thanks again to Moni Jefferson for making the connection. I am looking forward to talking with Ashley again.
Thanks to my sponsor Joyce Asack for supporting Veterans!
Episode 105 – Richard Fitts Jr’s Family at The Wall that Heals
Richard Fitts Jr. and the Abington Color Guard
I had first met Richard Fitts Jr. when we were talking about his documentary 21 Years a Folded Flag. ( Episode 92 – 21 Years a Folded Flag ) This is a labor of love for a father he could not remember because SSgt Richard Fitts was killed in Laos during the Vietnam War. He reached out recently because he wanted me to meet the crew from the Abington VFW when the Fitts Family joined them to do the Colors Ceremony for The Wall that Heals.
One of the take aways from the film is how Abington, Massachusetts wrapped their arms around the Fitts family. I got a chance to see this in action for the ceremony. Richard, his mother Valerie and his son Austin joined the guys from the VFW for this special ceremony. I got to spend time with Richard talking about everything from Joe Satriani to bass guitar styles to aspects of parenthood. I enjoyed how Mrs. Fitts was the “den mother” for all the Abington VFW crew. It was more like a family event than anything else.
After the ceremony, Richard and his son Austin talked with me about the film. He is almost done with it. He was able to interview a General who in Richard’s view adds a lot to the project. There is a lot of movement going on with another entry into a film contest, and he is finalizing the sound.
Seeing a Gold Star family like the Fitts participate in the color guard brought a different kind feeling out in me. It shows that family in the military can mean those who haven’t served as well as those from different branches of service.
Abington VFW & Mrs Fitts – Richard Fitts Jr is on the far left