Week Two in Bethesda

national naval medical center

We had a changing of the guard of sorts over the weekend.  Originally when Sam and Erin arrived in Bethesda from Germany, Sam’s parents and two brothers Marty and Donny were there to meet them.  Sam’s mother Kelly, Marty and Donny are back in the Sacramento area but Eric is staying an extra week.   Eric’s brother Greg who is a pastor is also there and will be staying through Friday.  Erin said Greg has been an incredible help to her this past week and has really taught her much about the power of prayer. My wife Julie arrived in Bethesda yesterday to spend the week with Erin and Sam.

Besides the scare with Sam’s leg, there isn’t much else to share.  Erin said last week, they removed various tubes and things from around Sam’s face (he still has a breathing and feeding tube).  His color is getting better and he just looks more like the Sam we all know and love. 

Before Julie left for Bethesda on Sunday, we printed out all the post and comments from this web blog that people have left so Erin could read everything (she doesn’t have access to the Internet).  Again we want to thank all of you for your prayers and notes of support.  I feel so helpless sitting here so far away from Sam and Erin and I feel my contribution at this time is to keep this blog updated for all Sam and Erin’s family, friends and well wishers.  Erin is so touched by the outpouring of love and support all of you have shown her.  It really make a difference and helps keep her strong.


13 Responses to Week Two in Bethesda

  1. Tony, thank you for the update. Our prayers continue. Needless to say, if you need ANYTHING, your SLC community is here for you.

  2. Liz Finberg-Timmerman says:

    I am glad to hear that Sam is looking more like himself. My mothers temple is praying and Grandma’s church is praying. Ive been studying wicca for the past 6 months and am using the power of earth and nature to pray for sam also. Mom’s had a picture of the three of us from the wedding out and she moved it into the front room so we can look at it always. If you dont remember my mom has a large collection of angel figurines one now right above our picture. I love you Erin and im praying for all of you.

  3. T orey Ross says:

    Tony, Julie, Erin Sam & Ali.

    I read the blogs daily some times more. My heart is saddened with what has happened, to this wonderful man. Thank you Tony for sharing this on the blog. Know that your friends are praying for Sam and the whole family. Erin prayer are what will get you through this. we will all help you with that part.

    Torey Ross & Kyle Lawlor.

  4. Carol Calloway says:

    To all of Sam’s family. I am praying for a MIRACLE for our brave Marine. Also the daily Morning Prayer Group at St. Lawrence is praying daily for Sam to have a complete recovery. We know the power of prayer and God does hear our prayers and He works miracles too.

    God bless each of you and our thoughts and love are with you all.

  5. Chris Sheler says:


    Please pass to Erin that my wife Tiffany and I have not stopped praying for Sam and for her and the rest of the family as well. (To include you and Julie.)

    God Bless,

  6. Sandy (Dugan) Digman says:


    This blog is a wonderful thing you are doing for Sam. His story has touched many hearts. We are keeping him, his family and yours in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sandy Digman
    (an old friend of Joy)

  7. Nicole Moen says:

    Thank you Tony for creating this website/blog. We all feel helpless. All we can do is pray and pray. My brother (Jason Curry) and his church are praying for Sam, and my friends have their church praying for him as well. Sam has touched so many people’s life, this is so wonderful and such a blessing. I’m glad to hear that he is doing better and starting to look like his old self again. Erin you hang in there and be strong. I pray for you, Sam, and all of your family everyday. You and Sam have so many woderful people who all love and care for you greatly. If you need anything, PLEASE let me know,

    Nicole Moen

  8. Kiersten Roush says:

    I love you guys. Plain and simple. I’m sorry that this happened, because none of you deserved this. But be strong, you will come through this. If you need anything, I know the offer has also been made from others, but it stands on this end as well. You are in my thoughts and prayers, as well as so many others out here and abroad.

    Much Love,

  9. Ed Ritter says:

    Sam is a Hero. There is no other way to describe him. I remember my first experiences at Casa Roble. Sam was among the only upperclassmen to ask my name, and he was the only one who remembered it. His straightforward and genuine kindness and concern did wonders for me in my first semester of high school and beyond. I’ll never forget those few nights I spent on the Neria’s couch talking with him, or playing on the JROTC basketball team that he coached. These are all treasured memories. This tragedy could not have fallen on a man or family less deserving of its burden.

    I will continue to send my prayers daily. To the Nichols’ and the Nerias, you have my greatest respect and my deepest condolences. Sam, Erin, Ali, and Mrs. Neria, you have touched my life in so many ways and always for the better. You are all role models and heroes to me. Thank you so much Mr. Neria for bringing this blog to us.

    God Bless

    Ed Ritter

  10. Jessica Augerlavoie-Teeters says:

    Thank you so much for the updates. This traedy has affected so many people. Sam and Erin are both very dear friends of mine, and it is still a little surreal that this burden has fell on them. But God does not give us more than we can handle. Our prayers continue for Sam, Erin, the Neria’s, and the Nichol’s. Erin is a strong woman, and I have glad to hear that our prayers and wishes are helping her to stay strong.
    Sam’s color returning is a start…the beginning of a full recovery, I pray. I say my prayers for all of you daily, and my daughter even sits with me and says “Amen.” My church’s prayer chain is going strong for you all as well.

    We love you all!

    God Bless,

  11. Karina Sissell-Dixon says:

    Thomas and I have been praying everyday for Sam and his family since we heard. I don’t know what Gods plans are, but I can say that He knows what is best for His children. I Pray Today. May God blesses Sam and those who love him.

  12. Bobbie Toyne says:

    God bless the families…I pray for all of you every day…Miracles do happen, they happened for me on a number of occasions! God bless all of you. Love and hugs, Bobbie

  13. Cecelia says:

    Wow. My prayers are with him and the family. My friend, also a marine, was hit with an IED as well in Iraq. He was at the National Naval Medical Center for 6 months. They are great there. I went to visit him and after 6 months, he was well enough to come home. He’s almost fully recovered, but still in therapy. They are great doctors there. Again, I wish him the best. Good luck.

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