JUDGE: Milam County community is generous
Most weeks, these articles almost write themselves. A former judge once told me that for him, coming up with material for these weekly updates was a bit difficult. I have not found that problem at all; however, I am only on article number 16 at this point. This week is a little different.
Last week was a tough week here in Milam County when on Thursday we lost one of our brightest, as Cameron Police Sergeant Joshua Clouse lost his life in the line of duty. A husband, a father, a son, a deacon at his church, a role model for many, and a friend to so many more. I had the honor of getting to know him over the last year and always enjoyed sitting and talking to him. While tragedies like this hit us with a force unparalleled in life, they also illustrate how close of a community we truly are here in Milam County.
Since taking office in January, we have been challenged with many things that have come up this year. From Ice Storm Mara to last Thursday’s sad news, we have seen many things happen here that test us individually, test us as a county, and test us as a community. Last Wednesday I was speaking on the radio, and I mentioned that what always impresses me and so many others that I talk to is the generosity of those who make up the Milam County Community. Even people from outside Milam County remark to me about how all of Milam County seems to come together when tragedy strikes here.
Several years ago, in Rockdale, we had a young girl taken away from us by cancer and the entire Milam County Community rallied behind her and her family and raised thousands of dollars to help them. “AlexStrong” signs popped up all over the county and the bumper stickers still adorn many cars that remind us all of a young girl’s courage and the love of Milam County. A love that transcended the old “north of the river/south of the river” divisions.
During the “Snowmagedon” storm of 2021, it was the local folks and first responders who came to each other’s aid and helps us all throughout the county. There wasn’t much state aid as for the first time in anyone’s recollection the entirety of the state was covered in snow and ice. But we came together as a county, we shuttled people to warming centers, we welcomed neighbors into our homes, we prepared food for those without heat, water, or power, we looked out over the elderly, and we just took the time to pull our collective resources and help everyone out.
Just this last Saturday, Milam County stepped up again and held a fundraiser to help the Berry Family out. Justice of the Peace Sam Berry has been fighting cancer and Saturday the Milam County Community stepped up to the plate and raised over $100,000 to help with the fight. Folks from all over Milam County were there and all of them were happy to contribute.
There have been others who have needed help over the years and each time Milam County seems to step up and meet the need. Whether it’s a Gold Star Family, someone with cancer, storm damage, fire, flooding, hurricane, car accidents, a sudden death, or any other myriad of hardship or tragedy, Milam County rises to the challenge. So, this week as we pay our respects to Sergeant Clouse for the ultimate sacrifice, please remember his family in your prayers and help them as you can. I know you will.