This has been a bittersweet week with many ups and downs.

Monday, I attended the Sgt. Jason McCluskey Memorial Bridge Dedication in McAlester. Sgt McCluskey, a McAlester High School graduate, gave his life in service to our country in Afghanistan in 2010. On this anniversary, a bridge crossing over Highway 69 in McAlester was dedicated to his honor. I had the privilege of meeting his mother as well as his son and several other family members. We can never thank this family enough for their sacrifice.

I also attended a memorial service for Greg Pyle, a former chief of the Choctaw Nation in Durant. Chief Pyle served the Choctaw Nation along the same time lines that I served as postmaster in Talihina. I had some brief interactions with Chief Pyle through the years pertaining to mutual business interests. One lasting memory I have is that whatever was in the best interest of the Choctaw Nation, that would be Chief Pyle’s position on any issue.

On a brighter note, I attended a CEO luncheon at Career Tech in McAlester last week. This luncheon brought community and business leaders as well as area legislators together to listen to CEO’s and business leaders give their views on what the future workforce will look like and how to best prepare for the upcoming challenges. Thank You Shelly Free and your employees for hosting this informative event.

I also attended Pittsburg County’s annual AFR insurance banquet. These meetings are great as they bring local people together to discuss what’s on their radar as to public policy. These meetings help dictate which policies will be pursued either for or against in the upcoming legislative session. Thank You AJ and Aileen Bristow for all you do supporting this important endeavor. Next weekend, I will attend Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s state convention.

As always, thanks for allowing me to serve. I can be reached at or (405) 557-7381.

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