U.S. Navy veteran Buddy Hugues. (Submitted photos)
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT HALL — Buddy Hugues served in the U.S. Navy for four years from 1953 to 1957 – enlisting right out of high school at the age of 17.
He was in boot camp in San Diego for 14 weeks and had to grow up real fast, he said because it was his first time off the rez and he was the only Indian boy on the ship.
While in boot camp, his base commander found out Buddy was a state champion boxer in high school so he talked him into boxing as the base had a smoker every week. “I only had 20 fights under my belt but I’d rather do that,” he said than do kitchen duty washing dishes. “It (kitchen duty) didn’t sound too exciting to me and if I boxed I didn’t have to.” He won 14 out of 14 fights and said it was real interesting. Buddy believes he won the fights because he was younger and quicker. He also played baseball and was a second and third baseman, along with shortstop.
Being in the service taught him about rules and regulations – he got up at a certain time, learned how to take care of himself and gave him good work ethic. At times some of the others would call him “Chief” but he would respond, “I’m Indian but not a chief.”
Thomas Hugues Sr. with sons, Buddy and Orlin.
He was assigned to the Seventh Fleet Com. Crew. Des. PAC. He was aboard the USS Agerholm-DD-826 Destroyer. Buddy was on Formosan Patrol with the Seventh Fleet-Task Force.
He was a third class machinist mate in a destroyer assigned to the Far East for two years. Locations he visited in the service include the Philippines, Japan, Okinawa, Mid-Way Wake Island, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Hawaii.
Buddy received an honorable discharge on September 13, 1957 and attained the rate of Third Class Petty Officer Machinist Mate. He was on call in the Reserves for 12 years. He was able to use his GI Bill to go to college.
His father Thomas Hugues Sr. served in WWII as Chief Petty Officer Construction Battalion in the Seabees. In addition, his brother Orlin Cap Hugues served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force including three tours to Vietnam. Cap received an honorable discharge and was ranked a Master Chief Sergeant.
Buddy’s grandson Michael Trey is also serving his country and is a Third Class Airman, Airdale Jet Planes Petty Officer aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. He is stationed in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan.
Buddy said it was an honor to be in the service to represent his people. “I honor the ones that went before me – the ones that didn’t make it home.”
After returning home to Fort Hall, he became a structural steel and ironworker specializing in high-rise buildings. He coached boxing, little league baseball and an assistant football coach.
He and his wife Margene have six children Tom, Becky, Ted, Karri, Michael and Ross.
He is among the veterans the Osborne family will be recognizing at the Annual Veteran’s Breakfast the family sponsors on November 11.
U.S. Army veteran Donita Sue Demontiney.
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT HALL — Not-tsoo Gah-nee Indian Health Center Physicians Assistant Donita Sue Demontiney spent a total of 12 years combined doing training with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Public Health Service.
She started in 1991 with the Commission Corps Officer when she began Physician Assistant School. In 1994, she did a lateral transfer into the U.S. Army Combined Forces Emergency Medicine PA training in Texas. She completed it, and then went back into the Commission Corps. She was ranked Lieutenant Commander at her separation and received an honorable discharge.
Donita has dedicated all of her career providing health care to Native people. She’s gotten a lot of awards but said she doesn’t feel like she’s done anything special. She said she was graciously accepted as an instructor in preceptor for Special Forces Medics program out of Fort Bragg, N.C. where she taught culture sensitivity before soldiers were sent off to war.
Demontiney is Chippewa Cree from Rocky Boy, Mont. and her grandfather is from Belcourt N.D. She has worked in Browning, Mont., Fort Belknap, Belcourt, N.D., Fort Mead N.D., and at the Acoma Indian Hospital in New Mexico.
She’s been in Fort Hall for about a year and a half and has had a very positive experience. “I’ve really been accepted into the community and with the staff – it’s one of the better places I’ve worked.”
She said the clinic is focusing on a lot of changes through the home medical model where she’s been assigned a group of people and has become part of a family as far as a provider goes. “It’s getting off the ground here – providing that service and I feel really good coming here.”
She said she enjoys hanging out in the community.
The Osborne family is recognizing Demontiney at the Veteran’s Breakfast on November 11.