Killer undeserving of honor

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Recently I heard a caller to a local radio talk show say that Christopher Michael Hodges deserved a funeral procession with the same honor and attention that the community was giving James D. Paugh, the police officer he killed.

I also have read many comments on The Augusta Chronicle’s online boards that talked about Hodges as a victim, a hero and deserving of military honors for his service. His girlfriend, in an interview on television station WJBF, said she didn’t want the community to judge him by this one act, and to remember his Army service.

As a combat veteran and the parent of a police officer who worked with J.D. Paugh, I wanted to offer my opinion. There are some acts that define a person forever. Murder is one of them.

To put this into perspective, what if Hodges did not commit suicide but instead was arrested after the murder? He would have had a trial where he could have entered all his excuses: post-traumatic stress disorder (though his girlfriend denied he had it), alcohol dependence, temporary insanity, etc. He would have been found guilty and probably sentenced to death. He would have been dishonorably discharged from the Army, thus denying him military honors at his funeral.

Would the community think it appropriate to honor him after his execution? Then why would we honor him now? I am sure his family is grieving his untimely death and hopefully ashamed of his actions. But military burial honors and equating his life with the life of J.D. Paugh are simply not appropriate.

Hodges is facing the only One who can adequately judge his actions and life. Let’s leave him and his memory in God’s hands. May God have mercy on his soul.

Gary J. Heffner

Augusta

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whooney65
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whooney65 10/27/11 - 01:31 pm
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well said lsmith!!

well said lsmith!!

Angel20
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Angel20 10/27/11 - 02:45 pm
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Reading these posts honestly

Reading these posts honestly makes me sick to my stomach. I feel and pray for the killed deputy’s family and friends. But here are a few things I am curious about. What qualifies any of you to judge if Chris should be honored and by whom? I know his family and friends will honor him the way they see fit without any of you trying to make things worse for the people involved. Nobody knew Christopher Hodges on Saturday, but came Sunday so many people are giving detailed character descriptions of a man they never met or spoke to! I agree, why all this talked about on the day of the deputy’s funeral is!? For the same reason why people take out the time to speak about something or somebody like they knew everything on the day of the funeral. Instead of grieving and showing your sympathies yall are busy practicing character assassination of Chris, trying to examine PTSD, and his marital status. It is not up to any of you, to make statements about somebody you didn’t know, you can only assume things, and get each other round up about some of these posts made up here.
This man was a soldier, who served his country honorably in Iraq, none of you out there is asked to accept and realize that in no way. However the once that will like his family and his friends should be left to do so without all of you throwing in your 5 worthless cents on the situation. RIP CHRIS, we love you and miss you, may god help your family through this hard times and give you strength!

Wordsineversaid
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Wordsineversaid 10/27/11 - 03:18 pm
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I can not believe this is

I can not believe this is America. I shouldn't be surprised. So its okay to kill women and children in war and you come home and are considered a hero and you are losing your mind when you come home knowing that there is a woman and/or a child who will never come home because of you. And everyone calls you an hero and praises you for it and than when the guilt starts to eat away at you and you lose your mind and make a big mistake and kill some one that other people see as an hero you are a bad person but it was okay when you were over seas killing woman and children and fathers and son as long as they were not American wow what a country we live in. In this situation no one is in the right no one is in the wrong but most of all no one is allowed to judge anyone but god. So when you become him then you may make all the comments you want. The last time I check none of yawl died for our sins and none of yawl made this world. So like I always say on god can judge anyone.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 10/27/11 - 03:37 pm
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Wordsineversaid: “So its okay

Wordsineversaid: “So its okay to kill women and children in war and you come home and are considered a hero and you are losing your mind when you come home knowing that there is a woman and/or a child who will never come home because of you. And everyone calls you an hero and praises you for it and than when the guilt starts to eat away at you and you lose your mind and make a big mistake and kill some one that other people see as an hero you are a bad person but it was okay when you were over seas killing woman and children and fathers and son as long as they were not American wow what a country we live in.”

Are you saying Christopher Michael Hodges killed women, children, fathers, and sons while deployed and as a result suffered great guilt and concomitant PTSD? Where is that information from? Gotta link?

lsmith
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lsmith 10/27/11 - 04:05 pm
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wordsineversaid: The monitor
Unpublished

wordsineversaid: The monitor of this blog will not afford me the license to respond to your post in the most suitable manner so........Thank him.

whooney65
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whooney65 10/27/11 - 04:24 pm
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LOL lsmith

LOL lsmith

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 10/27/11 - 04:29 pm
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So many varied responses to

So many varied responses to this letter when all that needs to be said is "I AGREE".

whooney65
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whooney65 10/27/11 - 04:43 pm
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i do agree

i do agree

Vito45
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Vito45 10/27/11 - 05:03 pm
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Words, we make judgments

Words, we make judgments about people every day for everything, so this "you can't judge" is just as fallacious as "everybody makes mistakes" as a cop out excuse for people's behavior. I judge what he did to be an awful, inexcusable act; and I am 100% accurate in that judgment; though I don't know this young man from Adam.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 10/27/11 - 06:12 pm
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This is just an awful and

This is just an awful and horrible story for all envolved. I can only imagine the range of emotions felt by all the families and friends of either the officer or soldier. Sadly I doubt anyone will find any solace in trying to understand "why" . I find these stories frustrating and I know even a person of faith can be shaken. I note the comments are often harsh but I do think it touches on something I often worry is dead in our society-we do recognize the sanctity of life. What a sad day when two unique individuals are no longer with us-under different circumstance I can imagine we would all like both individuals. I can't make excuses for the soldier and the randomness of losing the officer is all just frustrating. Sad, Sad.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 10/27/11 - 07:19 pm
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To honor a killer regardless

To honor a killer regardless of any circumstances is Sick, Sick, Sick. Period.

BombquishaDavis
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BombquishaDavis 10/27/11 - 08:12 pm
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@WORDSINEVERSAID.... you said

@WORDSINEVERSAID....
you said it well......

May J.D.Paugh always be remembered for loving his fellow man.
May your family and those that love you find peace and closure...for sometimes there are no answers.....and the only thing left
is to pray...you are in my prayers....

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/27/11 - 08:14 pm
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Cobalt George, my friend and

Cobalt George, my friend and fellow vet, as I said above, I would have blown Hodges away with my personal weapon if I had been fortunate enough to have been able to help the officer, but whether he had PTSD is another question. I also posted why he should NOT receive a burial with full military honors. The Federal Code is pretty clear on that.

Still it's a sad situation and I believe it's obvious he had PTSD. What really ticks me off is those saying Vietnam and Iraq veterans shouldn't have PTSD since WWII vets didn't complain.

That's the most ridiculous statement made in this whole matter and I won't let the media person who said it, while squeemishly excited leading the charge against Vietnam-Iraqi vets while he put up ribbons, forget he was so stupid.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 10/27/11 - 08:51 pm
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Riverman1, "What really ticks

Riverman1, "What really ticks me off is those saying Vietnam and Iraq veterans shouldn't have PTSD since WWII vets didn't complain."

I can't speak for Iraq but I sure can for Vietnam or Cambodia, I would like to make anyone making the above statement to have spent one week in the Bush.......

I never met or knew Hodges and untill he killed JD he was a military brother and I would have given my life for. Now in my book, he is nothing but a Killer. Sorry, that is how I feel.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 10/27/11 - 09:17 pm
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myfather15, you have my

myfather15, you have my Second on that one.

Vito45
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Vito45 10/28/11 - 12:49 am
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Mine too George. I don't know

Mine too George. I don't know why I am always surprised at people close to someone who has screwed up royally, trying to rationalize an excuse for their behavior. I understand they are close to the person and don't want to see them denigrated, but "it is what it is" and all of their rationalizations won't change it.

Jane18
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Jane18 10/28/11 - 07:42 am
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I wondered if myfather15 was

I wondered if myfather15 was going comment. He's been there, done that! Thank you for saying the words some people need to hear!!

whooney65
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whooney65 10/28/11 - 09:48 am
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well said myfather15!

well said myfather15!

drj1990
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drj1990 10/31/11 - 10:48 am
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listen to how we are talking

listen to how we are talking augusta the bible says we oughta love one another like he once loved us we neeed to stop foccusing on the wrong and focus on the life of theese two indivuals. everybody makes mistakes but what we do we learn from them but what we oughta do is pray about it but in this case 2 families are hurting I don't care who was wrong we need to come together as a community and build each others faith up we are not qualified to judge and we dont need to do that cause w are not god. Remember the 3 still abides Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. that mean we need to kill thant evil satanic spirit that we call spite or hatred give that back to the devil and start loving people we still gotta love mr hodges we cannot judge him the bible says in matt 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye". This mean you cannot judge him for if you judge him thats gone be the judgement that you are going to recieve it also means dont try and air out nobody elses dirty laundry or clean there skeltons out check yourselves first before trying to dishonor somebody else the bible also say let him without sin cast the first stone so dont cast no judgement or no stones if you done made a mistake I feel this soldier still need to get his military honors he helped us out you gotta have love for a country to fight a war even though he was wrong we all have mistsakes some are bigger than others but we just gotta shake them off.

Vito45
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Vito45 10/30/11 - 11:28 pm
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drj, that is a very

drj, that is a very thoughtful post, but I have to take issue with part of your last sentence. The "we all make mistakes" is becoming a tired, cliched excuse/cop out for people's bad behavior. Not to be harsh, but murder is not a "mistake" of the sort everyone makes. Other than that, a well thought out comment.

drj1990
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drj1990 10/31/11 - 10:55 am
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Vito45-god dosent like the

Vito45-god dosent like the sin but he still loves the sinner no sin is greater than the other in gods eyes all sins weigh the same this in gods eyes this mean lying,stealing,cheating,murder, etc are all the same guys one lie is just as bad as one murder but once again who are we to judge. we are not qualified to judge on this side. and to say he may was a good person but some of us have some demons in augusta but we have to get rid of these demons but the way to do it you have to cast them out cause if you do not the cast them out they gone come back 7xs stronger

Vito45
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Vito45 10/31/11 - 04:10 pm
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We will just have to agree to

We will just have to agree to disagree. I am Baptist by birth, but not by the life I've lived, so don't put a lot of faith into those kinds of teachings that fly in the face of common sense for me. Much of the bible has a good foundation as a roadmap for morality and behavior, but much is also left to the interpreter reading it. I don't see God finding equivalence with murder and knowingly taking too much change from a cashier.

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