Progress Report on Elliott Hogge – Back in the Saddle!

Elliott Hogge and Bobby Burton 9-14

Elliott Hogge and Bobby Burton 9-14 (photo from Facebook page I am Ruritan)

Original Post on the “I am Ruritan” Facebook page by Sandra Hogge on 9-20-14:

Today in Bedford, Virginia, at the National D-Day Memorial, I attended a POW-MIA Remembrance Day observance that has left me at a loss for words, so I will just post pictures including Vietnam veterans lined up and being greeted by members of Rolling Thunder and other attendees. Among the Vietnam veterans in the line up and also pictured visiting the traveling Wall are President Elect Bobby and President Elliott.

Original Post on the “I am Ruritan” Facebook page by Bobby Burton on 9-20-14:

First Lady Sandra has posted pictures of our wonderful morning at the D-Day Memorial today. I just wanted to add to what she has posted.
It was such a wonderful morning. President Elliott and I greeted the Pulaski/Dublin area Veterans as they got off the bus. We viewed the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall and enjoyed the Memorial grounds.
Elliott and I, along with members of several area VFW groups, placed the yellow roses at the Traveling Wall during the Remembrance Program.

The program concluded by having ALL VIETNAM VETERANS assemble at the front and EVERYONE filed by to greet us, hug us, thank us. President Elliott and I are both Vietnam Veterans and I think I can speak for both of us that “it was quite an emotional time”. It is hard to explain the feelings I had, and I am sure all the Veterans at the program today experienced the same feelings!
Thank you to the Ruritan Road Ruritan Club for including me in this event. It really meant a lot!!!

* * * * *I want to take this opportunity to say how great it was to have President Elliott and First Lady Sandra with us today. They are starting to get out again and, as President Elliott said “He is ready to get back in the saddle.” He has stepped back into his schedule but he also knows I will be there if he needs my help. He does still have some difficulty with his speech – but is improving every day – and if we all remember to be patient, he can communicate very well. Welcome back, Mr. President

Update on Elliott Hogge 9-3-14

Elliott Hogge driving his tractor (from I am Ruritan Facebook page)

Elliott Hogge driving his tractor (from I am Ruritan Facebook page)

Original post from the I am Ruritan Facebook page, written by Sandra Hogge on 9-2-14.

Now for an Elliott update! Last week was amazing, he cut and baled hay, drove his truck short distances on our back roads, and drove his 4-wheeler around the property. We went out to the movies and out to dinner with friends. He is eager to get back in action for Ruritan, and he has been reviewing his schedule for the rest of this year!

He is going to speak briefly on Sept. 8 at our club’s 58th Anniversary meeting, and we are both looking forward to seeing everyone in Kitty Hawk. He is still in the process of getting his meds fine tuned, which means continuing frequent medical appointments. He continues having outpatient speech therapy and is continuing to improve.

When you talk to him, remember that it might take a little extra time for him to answer, because although he knows exactly what he wants to say, the Aphasia and Aproxia cause difficulty in speaking. But don’t let that stop you! He is the same wonderful person he was before the stroke, and he wants to talk with you!

July 13 2014 Update on Ruritan National President Elliott Hogge posted on “I am Ruritan” Facebook Page

Taken from the “I am Ruritan” Facebook Page, originally posted by Sandra Hogge on July 13, 2014 approximately 8:42am:

Thank you all for your continuing prayers and outreach to us. Every single day a card, a phone call, or a visitor has arrived to show Elliott some love! Elliott has made a remarkable physical recovery in the last 7 weeks. He still has three sessions a week with a speech therapist, and he is doing his speech “homework” as well. He is working very hard! Sometimes I get tired just watching. The stroke caused two speech-related conditions: aphasia and apraxia of speech. His intellect is intact, he can read, he can do math, and his thought processes are fine, but the problem is the spoken word, in that he sometimes has difficulty saying the word he wants to say. He is still early in the healing process, so please continue to pray for his complete recovery.

Recap of 2014 Summer Leadership Conference by President Elect Bobby Burton

Posted on “I AM Ruritan” Facebook page on 6/21/14 by Ruritan National’s President Elect Bobby Burton


The 2014 Ruritan Leadership Conference concluded Saturday morning after two days of informative information for the approximately 90 Ruritan leaders in attendance. The events started with an open house/reception at the Home Office on Thursday afternoon.

The Conference was opened on Friday morning with a special greeting from President Elliott and First Lady Sandra read by Mike Chrisley. A picture of them was projected on the screen – they were wearing their conference t-shirts – and it was great to see their smiling faces!

A patriotic theme was carried out at the Conference with an emphasis on honoring Veterans and everyone was encouraged to Revitalize, Get Excited, and WALK THE WALK for Ruritan.



Speakers for the conference included Julie Hopkins from Smithfield, VA., the 2013 Top Recruiter, who gave a fun and excited talk on how to recruit new members. Jon Hatfield, Executive Director of the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA. spoke on Friday about the War Memorial, Veterans, and Ruritan. Jon had recently returned from a trip to Normandy for the D-Day 70th Anniversary.

On Saturday morning, we heard from April Cheek-Messier, President of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. She gave interesting facts about the D-Day Memorial and she also talked about the recent D-Day 70th Anniversary and how they celebrated in Bedford. There were events for the Veterans at the memorial and a parade through downtown Bedford.

All three of our speakers, Julie, Jon, and April, are Ruritan members and we were privileged to have them participate in the Conference. Everyone enjoyed a picnic on Friday night at Randolph Park, provided by the Pioneer Ruritan Club, and music by a local band, Buck Nelson.

My hope for the conference is that everyone had a good time and that you learned at least one new thing from the information we offered. As I said in my opening remarks, “there is always something new to learn about Ruritan”. And no matter if we are a past, current, or future leaders, we need to keep up on the changes occurring in Ruritan. Giving out the wrong information is a sure way to injure our organization.

Thank you to Perry Marshman, Lorene Reece, and Sarah Kelly (Leadership Committee members) AND to the Home Office Staff. This Conference would not have been a success without their hard work in putting it together. Thanks to all the workshop presenters, the Growth, Development and Retention Committee, the Youth Committee, the Publicity and Public Relations Committee, and the Ruritan National Foundation for their part on the program.

Keep up the good work in your communities and Thank You for all you do for Ruritan.

Yours in Ruritan,
President Elect Bobby