The Back Pew - Winter  2022 / 2023

Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin



Happy New Year!!!!

This part of Texas (Dallas area) underwent very cold and icy weather the week before Christmas. It seems that a great deal of the Nation experienced nasty weath- er as well. Heavy snow storms trapped many people in the Northeast in their homes without electricity and multiple deaths resulted. Since most of the Outlaws are in our senior years my prayers are for everyone to plan for severe weather and take pre- cautions as necessary. Better safe than sorry.

Christmas is a time for families to make memories and enjoy the season. The good part about grandchildren is that they grow up and make memories of their own

and you get the pleasure of watching it all happen. Linda and I have three grandchil- dren. One is a male age 35, who has never married. We have a set of 18-year-old twin granddaughters, both of whom are enrolled in college in the Oklahoma City

area. I’ll brag just a bit about these two very intelligent young ladies as both are pursuing degrees that will serve them very well.

I encourage everyone to continue to take precautions regarding exposure to Covid. Seem that the virus continues to mutate and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and take the booster shots as they are available.

Plans are underway to determine where our next reunion will be located. Each of

you should have received emails asking for your input regarding the location. Please let the leadership know your views and plan on attending. Linda and I will be there– God Willing.

May the Lord Bless you and your family. Ernie Isbell


Vinh Long Outlaws





What can the Chaplain do for me?

My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.




Outlaws Devotional - February 2021



Pain Is Not Forever


2 Timothy 2:3

Accept your share of suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.


About 11 years ago, I began having pain in my shoulders that grew progressively worse as the months past.  Along with the shoulder pain, pain began building in my hips and soon matched the level of shoulder pain.  Surely this was just the process of aging, and would soon subside and go away.  Over the counter medication helped marginally, but wasn’t enough to divert my mental concentration on the pain. Finally, the pain progressed to the point that it limited my ability to function well, especially in getting dressed and caring for myself. 


It became clear the pain was not going away by itself.  Over the next four months, I was evaluated by two general practioners, a neurologist, and an orthopedic surgeon, none of which could identify the source of the pain even after an MRI, two CT scans, two sonograms, and numerous blood tests, but all had their own solution to mollifying the pain.  Finally, my wife said that both of us had had enough of the pain, and found a rheumatologist who gave me an emergency appointment.  He reviewed all the medical information, and diagnosed the problem as polymyalgia rheumatica.  Prescribed medication relieved the cause of the pain in less than a month, but weaning me off the medication took another 11 months.


One night during the midst of my pain, I realized that my pain was insignificant compared to the pain and suffering Jesus Christ experienced during the 24 hours leading up to dying on the cross. We should never forget the earthly, physical pain Jesus felt in giving his life in atonement for our sins.

Submitted by Frank Estes



Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G.I.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

      Source Unknown


Standing Prayer Request:

While most Prayer Requests will remain on the page for 30 days, here is a request that will remain as long as we have uniformed men and women stationed abroad. Please repeat this short prayer often and ask you friends and family to include it in their daily prayers:
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless
acts they perform for us in our time of need.
I ask this in the name of Jesus,
our Lord and Savior.   Amen.

Prayer Requests: (as of 0/23)


Randolph Stuart Diuguid

Raleigh, North Carolina

Age 74.
Died 08/11/2023.

Randolph Stuart Diuguid “
Died on August 11, 2023, age 74 years. Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on November 19, 1948, the son of Blanche Heyser Diuguid and Frank S. Diuguid, Jr., he grew up in Raleigh, was active in the Lutheran Church and in the Boy Scouts of America, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and graduated from Broughton High School in 1966. Randy was an avid reader. Beginning in his youth, he had a keen interest in theology and, particularly, the teachings of Martin Luther. He retained an intellectual curiosity throughout his life.

He attended ECU for one year prior to enlisting in the US Army. He trained as an aircraft mechanic and an air traffic controller before being selected for Army Flight School. In March 1969, he graduated as an officer and pilot, and was assigned to the 175th Assault Helicopter Company in Vinh Long, Vietnam, in the Mekong Delta. Randy flew over 1,082 flight hours in combat and was shot down by the North Vietnamese one mile from the Cambodian border in November 1969. After the war he served a year in Stuttgart, Germany, and returned home where he was decorated at Fort Bragg in May 1971 with the Bronze Star, the Air Medal for Heroism, and with the Army Commendation Medal for his war-time service and for the medical evacuation of wounded in Vietnam.

Randy flew with the NC National Guard while continuing his education at NCSU. For the next forty years, he continued in aviation, flying helicopters, turbo-props, and jets all over the globe. He believed in and helped pioneer the LifeFlight concept and spent a significant part of his life saving lives through helicopter medical evacuation. He also flew the SKY 5 TV helicopter from 1982 to 1984. He aided in the development of safe TV helicopters and the use of microwave, reporting from the cockpit, and filming from the air, as well as beaming local news nationally via satellite. In 1984, only five helicopters in TV news nationwide had this capability--SKY 5 was one of these.

Safety was his overriding concern, even at a time when the helicopter industry ran up the worst accident record in aviation history. His helicopter flying encompassed all uses of the helicopter. Trained as a test pilot, he spent five years as a pilot flying for offshore oil in the Gulf of Mexico; two years flying off a tuna fishing vessel in the South; fought forest fires in the West, and with the NC Forest Services in 1985; three years as a dedicated LifeFlight pilot; and two more years flying cardiac care LifeFlight—the highest level of helo-medical care. He was a Captain and Chief Test Pilot for the only helicopter airline in the world, Pan Am Helicopter Airways, flying over New York City. In 1986, he was the recipient of an Air Ambassador award for five consecutive life-saving LifeFlights in one day in Tampa, Florida. Overall, he logged over 8,800 flight hours without an accident.

Randy is survived by three brothers, Frank “Scot” Diuguid, III, of Bracey, Virginia; William H. Diuguid and Bruce D. Diuguid, both of Raleigh, North Carolina; and preceded in death by his brother Douglas T. Diuguid.

A graveside memorial service with full military honors will be held at Raleigh Memorial Park, Raleigh, North Carolina, on August 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. The attendance of veterans and other service members and the general public, in honor of this veteran’s service to our country, would be greatly appreciated.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

Moving comments from a friend

I was asked by a friend of one of his neighbors to try and turn out some veterans for the funeral period she was concerned that the turnout would be small.

I'm the chaplain for the local marine corps league detachment. I made a call to the patriot guard riders. Randy was also a member of the american legion and they were there in strength as well.

It was my honor and privilege to assist paying my respects to a true american hero.

At the end of the ceremony, they announced that this would be the final dust off. Using a speaker, they began to play the sounds of a chopper coming in for a landing. My eyes kept searching the Sky for that chopper to come  to the  cemetery. It was a very touching moment.