The Hardest Job in the Marines

Sam’s medical status:  Sam was supposed to have surgery yesterday to fix his broken arm but they postponed it until next week.  He has a broken fibula which is the smaller bone in the lower leg.  There is actually a piece of the fibula bone missing due to the IED explosion, but the doctors tell Erin it is a secondary bone and it is not even necessary for walking.  He has a fracture of C3 which is the 3rd cervical vertebrae which means they have to keep him in a C-spine collar.  Today they will check him out to see if it has healed enough to remove the collar.  C3 is not a load bearing vertebrae, so that is also a plus.  Also, today they will perform a carotid angiogram which test the blood flow to Sam’s brain.  Sam has shallow breathing, but he is able to breath on his own and his oxygen flow (or saturation) is around 90%.  Even though he is breathing on this own, they keep him on an endotracheal tube (breathing tube) because he is not producing enough volume and it is an extra strain on the rest of his body that is trying to heal.  He no longer needs blood pressure meds to keep his blood pressure up, so that is also another area of improvement.  And finally, the infection in his gallbladder is under control and his fever is down from 103 yesterday to normal today. 

imageFirst Christmas together in four years:   When I first started this blog at the end of July, I honestly couldn’t even look at the picture of Sam and Erin that you see at the top of the of the blog header because it was just too painful.  Over time it’s gotten a little easier to look at it, but not much.  I’ve added the full picture in this post so you can see whole thing.  It was taken last Christmas and you can see the Christmas tree in the background and a present between the two of them.  This was the first Christmas they spent together in the four years they have been married.  The other times, Sam was either deployed, on maneuvers or in some sort of training status away from home.  What an incredible sacrifice these Marines (and their families) make for our country on a daily basis!

The life of a Marine Corp wife:  I read somewhere that the hardest job in the Marine Corp is being Marine Corp wife.  There was quite a learning curve for Erin, but over the four years Sam has been a Marine, Erin has toughened up right along with Sam.  It’s funny to listen to her talk about Sam and his job (he commands a Howitzer team when his battery is not escorting convoys through Iraq).  Erin can reel off the military jargon with the best of them!  Now her job is to take in all the “doctor speak” she is receiving, digest it, and translate it for the rest of us—and she does it with ease!  Of course, the other part of her job is to stand vigil over her Marine—talk to him, touch him, and pray continuously for him.  As you might guess, she is doing an excellent job of that too!  When I called Julie this morning and asked her what Erin was up to, she told me Erin was with Greg (Sam’s uncle—who is a pastor) in the ICU praying over Sam. 

Please continue to pray for Sam.  “Faith overrules Fact!”


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  and if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him”

1 John 5:14-15


6 Responses to The Hardest Job in the Marines

  1. Dolores Hines says:

    I am very thankful for Sam improvements. Our faith will gave us
    hope and when there is hope there is strength.
    My prayers for Sam and family everyday.

    God Bless!

  2. Chris Sheler says:

    It’s great to see that Sam is improving. We are continuing to pray for him and the family. Erin, keep the faith, we are witnessing one of God’s miracles. I know he will recover and you will have a long and blessed life together.

    God Bless, Chris.

  3. Albion Wilde says:

    It was my privilege to meet Sam, Erin, Eric and Greg on Tuesday and to pray with them. Even in his present state, Sam is quite impressive, and I felt the Spirit moving in him. My first impressions of Erin are that she is a deeply devoted Marine wife, mature beyond her years. With others of like mind, we are keeping Sam and Erin and all of you family members in daily prayer, believing in God’s purposes and His plan. Other local troop support friends and I have made our contact info available to Erin and will check in on her. God bless you, Tony.

  4. Heb 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    The fact that Sam will recover is the substance of what you hope for, and what you don’t see right now is the evidence of what God has in store for you; remember, right where you sit right now, as you read this is, all you can see. The room that you are sitting in, limits your vision to the rest of the world, but God knows NO limitations like that, and HE is now controlling the entire Universe which HE made to begin with, and He is in control of your situation, as well. for God …no problem. Keep that Faith!

  5. Jessica Augerlavoie-Teeters says:

    I am so thankful to hear of Sam’s improvements. He is such a strong man. Erin, my heart is always with you. You are such an amazing woman, I pray for your strength everyday, that you may continue to keep your strength in caring for Sam. I’m sure you realize how lucky he is to have you, Erin. 🙂 Any man would be lucky to have you, as any woman would be lucky to have Sam. You are both truely made for each other, and I am so thankful that you two found each other and look at all the obstacles you have overcome! What’s one more? We’re always with you.

  6. Lisa Winfield says:

    Dear Erin Family

    I am very happy to hear of of your husband’s improvements in his recovery. I am a friend of Captain Gaffney, whom has shared his thoughts of hope and admiration for Sgt. Nichols. May God be with you, your husband, Sam and your family. Faith in one’s self, their loved ones and God can guild one through anything. Many thoughts and prayers are with you all!

    A Marine Sgt.’s wife too,
    -Lisa Winfield

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