Cheering on the troops

Sam’s medical status:  Sam is now breathing on his own and no longer needs the endotracheal tube.  He had a fever yesterday due to an infection in his “main line” but it is now back down to normal.  He is also very swollen through out his body due to all the fluids that are being pumped into him, but he is now losing more than he is taking in so the swelling should eventually subside.

sam in maine at the airport

Boarding the Plane for Iraq:  The picture to the left is of Sam as he’s boarding a plane for Iraq for his second tour.  There is a group of volunteers in Maine (I think Dover) who go to the airport to cheer on Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airman when they are either leaving or coming back from Iraq.  They also take many pictures of our military at the airport and put them up on their web site.  Try as I may, I can’t seem to figure out the name of this organization.  I remember going to their web site and sifting through hundreds of photos (maybe thousands) to find this particular picture of Sam. 

If you know of the volunteer organization I’m talking about, drop me a note in the comments section of this post.  I remember looking at their web site and wiping tears from my eyes as I was looking at pictures of ordinary citizens cheering on the Marines as they walked in or out of the airport.  There are so many good people in this world. 

If you’re wondering what book Sam is holding, it’s the previous Harry Potter story.  Both Sam and Erin are avid Harry Potter fans.  I hope she’s reading the newest book to him at the hospital. 

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

General Douglas MacArthur

I love you Sam!


15 Responses to Cheering on the troops

  1. Kim King says:
    I believe this is the sight you are looking for who greets troops and sends them off in Bangor, Maine. My husband is retired military and knew it right away.
    Glad to hear that Sam is better today.
    Blessings, Kim King

  2. Carol says:

    Here’s another site that takes pictures at the airport in Maine. Best of Luck to Sam!

  3. Lisa Filbert says:

    I literally wept for joy when I read about Sam being taken off the breathing tube! That is so fantastic. I want you all to know that I’ve been praying for Sam in my way, and I’ve been asking everyone I know to keep you all in their thoughts and prayers. I know Sam and I know how strong he is in spirit and in body and I know he’s going to fight this battle just as he’s fought all the others. Please tell Sam that I just started the Harry Potter series, so we have a lot to talk about when he comes home. I miss you both so much and can’t wait to see you both when you get home.

    Love Always

  4. Walter says:

    Here is an article written on 6 AUG 2007. It talks about the group. I came home last summer and we stopped in Maine, so got to see first hand how great this group is.

    I received this link from my wife who is friends with Courtney Phelps. Not sure the relationship.

    I wanted to write something sooner, but really do not know what to say. You obviously did an outstanding job with your son. You can tell by the comments that he made a difference in everyone’s life that he has come across. As father I can only hope to emulate the job you have done. As an American Soldier I say thank you for his service.

    Know that there is on more family praying for his recovery.

  5. Danalee says:

    Prayer works!! Let’s keep it up!! Hugs to Erin and Sam; and, hugs to all the great medical team who are working so hard to make it possible for same to walk out of there in the not too distant future. Huzzah!!!

  6. Torey Ross says:

    Tony, Julie Erin & Ali,

    What great news that Sam is breathing on his own. Tony as I said to you last week I read the blog daily. I have to know how Sam is doing ,
    But I also like to see if Erin has had the time to write to see how she is doing.
    Erin I am so Impressed at how you are handling this. I have watch you grow in to this lovly women. you are a a rock of strength. My thoughts and prayer’s will continue to be with you and your Family. I can’t wait to when we all rejoice at Sams full recovery.

    Love Torey Ross & Kyle Lawlor.

  7. judy Gardner says:

    I see that you received the info on It is wonderful to hear that Sgt Nichols is doing better, That is great. Thanks for sharing your website with all of us who have family in Iraq. All of you are in my constant prayers and thoughts throughout the day.
    Take goodcare and God bless.
    Judy Gardner

  8. Liz Finberg-Timmerman says:

    I love you all. My prayers are with you every day. The most recent Harry Potter book was a bit disappointing to me. Too many people dying… Oh well im going back to Kurt Cobains journals… God bless.


  9. Uncle David and Aunt Cari says:

    So glad Sam is breathing on his own. We are continuing to meditate and pray for his recovery and Erin’s strength. It’s heartwarming to see how many people care about this young, wonderful, blessed couple.

    All our Love, Uncle David and Aunt Cari

  10. HM1 Donna Patrick says:

    I just wanted to send Sam and his family all my wishes and prayers. I am a corpsman stationed in Beaufort, SC and my hubby is a Gunny that just got back from Iraq in late March. He is in great hands at Bethesda as I loved working there years back and have been a patient there myself since then. PLEASE let me know if there is anything at all we can do, and God Bless!

  11. I agree with you! its a great book, but too bad it ends…I feel so empty putting it down after so many years waiting for it…

  12. Sami says:

    It is wonderful to hear that many airports allow us to show support for our soldiers as they head off to serve our country. When we were stuck in Atlanta for 8 hours in February, there were probably 8 or 9 groups of soldiers heading out that day. I believe it was volunteers from the American Legion, and they would announce the group and lead the troops with a flag held high at the front and back of the line, and proudly march them thru the center of the Atlanta airport to their boarding area…they would do this with a new group about every hour, and every hour all of us there would stand and clap or cheer and many would cry, as I am doing while typing this. It was so powerful, the pride one feels along with the bittersweet reality of what awaits them at the end of the flight, was overwheming.
    Our troops deserve a country that is proud of what they do and will treat them with the respect they have earned. I wish we could erase the hurt for the disrespect shown to many veterans or prior wars/”conflicts”, it is a part of American history we should not be proud of, and we should make it a point to be part of the reason that never happens again…GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS.
    Erin, stay strong, I’m so glad to hear of your new life with Christ, He will get you thru this. Sam, I continue to pray for you daily, I would very much like to get to know the young man, so many love. Come back to your families soon, they miss you. Peace-

  13. sgt jacob barnett says:

    i was just directed to this web site and felt really compelled to post a comment, i was at a totally loss for words when i heard of the this huge hit that kilo 3/12 took in iraq, i served with sam for three and a half years in kilo btry and was a very lucky person to get to know him, the suttle smile that we would stare when the higher ups would say something that we thought was funny and we were trying not to laugh and draw attention to ourselves, until after they had walked away then we would stop holding back, i just wanted to write a quick note and say that my wife and i are praying nightly for sam and i think of him as a brother and there are nights now, as a 23 year old man, still servering in the greatest fight force in the world as a us marine and fall asleep with tears in my eyes, and to sam i love ya man

  14. […] this blog after Sam was first wounded in Iraq, I wrote about the Maine Troop Greeters  in my August 16, 2007 blog entry.  The picture from that post was taken by someone in their organization.  Sam mentioned […]

  15. […] of this blog after Sam was first wounded in Iraq, I wrote about the Maine Troop Greeters in my August 16, 2007 blog entry.  The picture from that post was taken by someone in their organization.  Sam mentioned to Erin […]

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