A few weeks ago I got a call from Leathernecks President Drew letting me know that Spud had passed away. I was saddened but I wasn’t surprised, Spud had not been doing very well three weeks earlier as I was heading to California to visit family.

Many of us here had been praying for Spud. We wanted him to recovery, so he could get back out there riding his beloved Gutzy, but clearly God had a different plan. As it says in Proverbs 19:21 “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” We would have preferred that Spud could have stuck around for a lot longer, but we don’t always get to choose. All our hearts and prayers go out to Sandy, Lance and all the family, and of course to all Spud’s Leatherneck brothers.

I’m sure I didn’t know Spud as well as many of you, We saw each other at various rallies and events, but mostly at TMRA2 meetings where Spud was always there. Well, except when we move the meeting to a new location and forgot to remind him. Lately we were meeting at IHOP, and we would usually sit at the same end of the table and enjoy our dinner, me with my pancake something and Spud with his biscuits, gravy and coffee. Sometimes Spud would add a little something to his coffee from a flask he had with him, and some might think it odd that a chaplain would do that, but I think Jesus and Spud got along pretty well. Spud understood that his relationship with Jesus wasn’t about the contents of a flask, it is about what is in your heart. Spud loved God, and through Him he loved us. Yes, Spud will be missed, but Spud has better roads to explore now, no more stop lights and no more traffic. At this moment he is probably out riding heaven’s back roads with Jesus, no more walking stick, no more pain, no more sidecar, just the sweet tones of shiny new Gutzy and the occasional scrape of the foot pegs dragging in the corners. Oh, and if you want to know what Jesus is riding as they wind through the hills, it probably has the letters TL on the side. That would be TL for Thunder and Lightning. Enjoy the ride Spud.