From the pulpit
to the military
Loggins’ early church work and school work was interrupted when he was 17 and a junior at Muskogee High School.
At the time, he was married to an older woman who also was a teacher.
“I went into the service because I wanted to provide a good home for her,” he recalled. “I couldn’t support her in high school.”
Loggins joined the Navy, where he spent “four glorious years.”
This was 1972, when the Vietnam War was still raging. Loggins was assigned to the USS Blakely, which went to Vietnam.
“It was a destroyer escort,” Loggins recalled. “We’d pull up in front of an aircraft carrier when there was a missile. It’s better to lose 350 people (on the escort) than 2,500 (on the aircraft carrier). Our job was to come in front of it and absorb the torpedo.”
Loggins said he asked for a transfer once he found out what his assignment was. He said he was then assigned to a guided missile cruiser.
“I went straight from the skillet to the fire,” he said.
After coming home from the Navy after the war, he served six years as a combat medic with the National Guard.
“I was always into medicine because my mother was a nurse, so I knew medicine,” he said. “It was fascinating to me. We were doing field training exercises, and they asked me if I wanted to be a combat medic. If your guts are hanging out, I get them, stuff them in there, tape them up, hook up an IV until they can come get you and take you to triage.”
He later joined the Army Reserve. He recalled a short stint, serving in Desert Storm with the 827th Supply Company.
He served as a chaplain and a mess cook until 1999.