Waiting for Sam

us flag in the wind 

Sam’s current medical status:  Yesterday was another quiet day for Sam.  He is supposed to have arm surgery sometime next week to fix his broken arm.  He continues to be surrounded by the love of his family and the support and prayers of his friends.

Sacramento Bee article:  The title of this blog entry is “Waiting for Sam” and it is the name of an article written in today’s Sacramento Bee by Anita Creamer.  If you want to read that article, you can find it on the “L” Scene section of today’s paper.  You can also find the on-line version of the article at this location: Sacramento Bee article.

I don’t want to retell the article in the newspaper, but I do want to give my rational for initially calling Anita Creamer and for keeping this blog updated.  I’m obviously writing this blog to keep family and friends updated on Sam’s medical status.  I’m writing it as a tribute to Sam, his character, courage, patriotism and personal integrity.  I’m writing to request support and prayer for Sam and Erin in a time of great need.  And I’m writing it to document the great personal sacrifice that one man and his family must endure when the leaders of our country make the decision to send our young men off to war.  I don’t want this blog to be my personal soap box for my opinion on the war in Iraq because my job as a father is to support my daughter in any way I can in her greatest hour of need.   So I have intentionally left out any opinions I have on this conflict. 

The kindness of strangers:  I continue to receive many emails and comments in this blog from family, friends and even strangers who have heard of Sam’s situation and I continue to be amazed at the kindness, prayers and words of encouragement.  Occasionally I share with you some of these comments and I would like to do that today.  I don’t know this gentlemen but he somehow heard about Sam and was compelled to write me.  His words are elegant, touching and succinct and because he is a veteran, his comments are even more powerful.  Since I didn’t get his permission, I won’t use his name, but I would like to thank him for his kindness and his service to our country:

Dear Sam:

Thank you for serving this wonderful country of ours.  Your love for America is demonstrated in your willingness to give your all for the freedoms that we enjoy.

I have prayed to God for your healing, and will continue to do so as God brings you to mind.  Trust in Him, that He will restore you physically to your wife and family.


[Name Removed by the blogger]
Sacramento, CA.
U.S. Army Veteran & Patriot

Thank you Anita:  I would also like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Anita Creamer for the article she wrote in the Sacramento Bee about Sam.  When I initially spoke to Anita, I confessed that I wasn’t sure why I wanted to tell her about Sam—but through many years of reading her column I just new she was a classy lady and that I could trust her to do justice to a story about Sam.  The article was very well written— it was accurate and most importantly, it captured Sam’s character and the love we all have for him as a Marine, husband, son and friend to many.


11 Responses to Waiting for Sam

  1. Danalee says:

    The article in The Sacramento Bee this morning was beautiful! Hugs to all!

  2. Tabitha Schieder says:

    I read the article and just moments after I read it my mother called from California to say she had seen it and was mooved. I am so glad that the world has responded to show gratitude and respect to a man and family that deserve it so much.
    I found some old pictures of Sam from Casa Roble with Nicholas Schieder I thought I would share.

  3. Uncle Terry says:

    As Aunt Suzy and I read the Sacramento Bee at our favorite Sunday morning breakfast spot, we sat silently. The tears in our eyes began to well-up as we shared the newspaper. I gulped hard to keep from bursting aloud to everyone in the restaurant “This is part of my family, read this!”

    By noon today (Sunday) we had aquaintances asking us if this was our family members. “Yes”, we told them it is part of our family. “Oh wow” and “Oh my goodness”, they exclaimed. Now they know. They understand a little better. Conflicts are not always about death.

    Even as touched as we are by the article and that it is about Sam, Erin, the Nichols and Neria families, we were also touched by the message of the article. How it brings to light the number of soldiers that have been injured. And that other families are suffering with similar tales.

    We said a silent prayer for those families.

    Tony, I appreciated your words that were used in the article and those printed in this blog. The focus is on Sam. I could not be more supportive of your position.

    We will continue to ask for a miracle in our prayers.

    I understand that Julie and Erin will be coming home soon. We look forward to many hugs. We are taking Madison to start school in L.A. Monday morning. She sends her best to you all too.

    God Bless

  4. My wife and I have been in Boise, Idaho for a the annual motorcycle ride in honor of SPC Brandon Titus KIA in Iraq in 2004, and I have been out of touch; just wanted to stop and say that our prayers are being answered, and I will not forget to keep praying. Even though the book “The Secret” is very popular, and a very positive approach, it does not compare to the reality of what God can do for us; it is NO SECRET God can do! Keep Glorifying the Father through his son Jesus. On October 6th, I will be playing in a 1,000 member trumpet choir for the Stand in the Gap event at the Washington Monument. I will continue to stand in the gap in Sam’s behalf.

  5. Cassidy Thomason says:

    I work as a dispatcher for Citrus Heights Police Dept and my heart truly goes out to Sam, his lovely wife Erin and their families. What a noble, strong person Sam is and a true hero. I am taking the story home to read to my family tonight to help us appreciate just having each other, our health and our freedom. We will keep you in our prayers and thoughts. God bless Sam, Erin and your families. Cassidy Thomason

  6. Gary Miller says:

    Knowing another brother Marine needs our prayers YOU should know that THIS Marine is in our thought’s and prayer’s. From all his brother and sister Marines he knows we stand beside his bed offering what ever we can give to bring him back to you, and our brotherhood.

    Our thought’s and prayer’s are with him and his family during this very hard time I am sure.

    To you Sam, TUFF it up Marine, you can do this!!!!!

    Semper Fi

    Gary Miller
    Orangevale, Ca

    Cpl Miller 1964 – 1970 USMC Veteran

  7. KAREN AMES says:


  8. Erin Nichols says:

    Thank you evrybody for your continued prayers. I really can’t ask for more than that. What I will ask is for your prayers for some of our buddies here at the hospital. I’ve already mentioned Eddie; he is okay, but we need to pray that gets his sight back. He was badly burned completely losing one eye, and there is only a 5-10% chance that his other eye will regain function. Being blind now, Eddie is very scared. Wow! He just walked by. Eddie has a terrific wife, Sam, twin 5 year olds and 1 year old Matthew.

    Kevin also needs our prayers. I don’t know the details of his condition, but I know that he too has a traumatic brain injury in addition to terrible injuries to both legs. His legs are in traction, and one leg has an incision from his ankle to his groin. He has a broken arm and seems to go to the O.R. on a daily basis.

    Yesterday we met the family of Jeremy. He was shot in the head in Iraq on Monday. The bullet entered through his right temple and exited through the left temple. As far as I know he’s in a -induced coma. I don’t know anything about his prognosis. His parents and 2 sisters are here.

    Also please pray for our boys in Iraq. Sam’s battery, Kilo 3/12 comes home in October. These are Sam’s brothers and many of them we’ve known for over 3 years. I’ve fed these guys and rubbed there backs as they puked in my toilet. Please pray for there safe return and that they find ways to deal with there traumatic losses.

  9. Kim P says:

    Hi, I just wanted to leave some information for anyone that might be interested in helping out a stellar organization, Soldiers Angels, which was referenced in the article “waiting for Sam” I have first hand experience with this group and have sponsored numerous soldiers since the beginning of the war, and they also are coordinating volunteer work at Mather Vets Hospital. So, if any of you would like to make a one time donation, adopt a soldier, volunteer at a VA Hospital, please visit their website at http://www.soldiersangels.com – . There is also another excellent website called http://www.anysoldier.com. No matter what our opinions are on this war, we have GOT to show our support for these men and women. There is also a freelance journalist- totally self supported- who gives very objective dispatches from Iraq. Michael Yon at http://www.michaelyon-online.com. God Bless Sam and his family and I will be praying for them and his recovery.

  10. Denise and Steve Kramer says:

    Erin and Sam,

    You two hold a special place in our hearts and you can be assured of our continued prayers. We haven’t stopped since we received the news early in August. This site is such a gift for us praying for you both and waiting for news.

    We are so very proud of both of you. Erin, your recent post was such an indication of you the way we remember you, thinking of everyone else. Your strength is admirable, your loyalty uplifting, and your suffering we offer to share. May God allow you both to stop by the house again for a short visit.

    “And He has said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for thee, for strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Gladly therefore I will glory in my infirmities that the strength of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Cor 12:9

    Jake’s Mom and Dad – Steve and Denise Kramer

  11. Barbara Morarity-Van Dyke says:

    To the Neria Family,

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you from your San Juan Friends and Classmates! We can not imagine what your family is going thru. We are praying for a speedy and complete recovery for Sam. Please know we are thinking of you!

    Take care,
    Barbara Morarity-Van Dyke

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