The Real Stars

Welcome back Kilo Battery (America’s true heroes):  I am very happy to announce that Sam’s battery (Kilo 3/12) has completed their seven month deployment in Iraq and arrived today back at Camp Pendelton. 

In honor of these men and the service they have performed for our country, I’d like to offer to you the following video.  I’m not a great fan of Fox News, but this interview with Ben Stein should be seen and heard by all Americans.

Sometimes people who read this blog don’t realize they can leave comments related to a post or a page on the blog, so I wanted to make sure everyone saw the comments left by a friend of Sam’s mother who commented on my previous post:

My grandson is only 3 years old, and his daddy has just recently returned from Iraq, so I understand that knot in your stomach that wants to make you sick when the heroes are not there for you to give a hug to daily.

My Grandson has a “thing” he does EVERY time he sees the flag—he yells to anybody around “there is our flag, puts his tiny hand on his forehead above his eyebrow and yells, SAAALUUUUTE!” and he looks around to make sure everybody around him, looks at the flag.

I dedicate this salute to you Sam.  Thank you for making my 3 year old Grandson recognize the flag that you and all the other heroes like you help keep us respecting our flag and what it stands for;  that is so often forgotten.

It is an honor and a blessing to have men and women like you both on my side.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My husband is a retired Marine—he said, “Semper Fi Buddy…Semper Fi!.”

Sam’s medical status: 

Wednesday October 17th, 2007:  Sam scored a 15 on the CRS (coma recovery scale).  His previous rating was an 11 a few weeks ago.  Sam’s trach tube was capped 6 hours today.  

Thursday October 18th, 2007:  Sam was capped (trach tube) for 10 hours today.  Sunday they’ll cap him for 24 hours.  Next week they will probably pull the trach tube for good.  His coughing has really subsided the last three days which means they have not had stick that suction device down his trach tube which really is uncomfortable for Sam. 

Erin and the therapist are working on more signing for Sam.  Specifically, hold up one finger for yes and two fingers for no.  He’s getting real good and manipulating his right hand and arm.  Sam’s brother Donny was also working with Sam on the one finger/two finger thing, except with a little different meaning.  Donny says something like, “what number are you Sam?” and Sam holds up one finger.  Then Donny ask, “what number am I?” and Sam holds up two fingers. 

Friday October 19th, 2007:  Sam is still on a daily dosage of Ritalin at 5mg, but he will be getting twice that much starting next week.

The one finger for yes and two fingers for no signing is working out really well for Sam.  It’s easy for him to do as opposed to the thumbs up and thumbs down method.  It’s also more reliable and Erin gets a quicker response from Sam when she asked him questions.  The signing allows her and Sam to communicate much better than they ever have. 

Sam still can’t drink anything, but Erin has been giving him “taste” of various beverages.  Today she gave him a taste of coffee (using her finger, I believe).  She asked him if he wanted more and he gave the “one-finger-yes” sign a few more times.  After a while, Sam just started raising the one finger—meaning;  keep bringing on the coffee!  She later had a “monster energy drink” and asked Sam if he wanted a taste, and he grabbed the can from her!  Sam still can’t swallow because of the trach tube but the taste of various drinks helps to stimulate his senses. 

Erin had a talk with Sam’s doctor and she mentioned that she didn’t think Sam’s speech therapy was being very productive, so they are making some changes to his routine.  The doctor brought in 30 canisters of various smells and they went through the routine, “do you like this smell?” —and Sam would give them either one finger or two.  He was much more attentive through the therapy.  Erin also made a suggestion that they use construction paper to cut out pictures of the various smells in the canisters.  They will be using them to provide not only an olfactory but a visual stimulation during Sam’s therapy.   Dr. Erin is so smart! 🙂

Bible Quote from our friend Larry Wiseman:

Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh:  is there any thing too hard for me?

Jeremiah 26-27


7 Responses to The Real Stars

  1. Nicole Moen says:

    Wow, Sam seems to be doing very well. Paul and Jake said he looked REALLY good and was recovering VERY well. I have not this weekend, but the following weekend off and I was planning to make a day trip down there, hopefully with a few people so we can carpool and visit Sam and Erin.

  2. Michael Monk II says:

    Tony< thanks for the video . I know the hero’s! It amazes me that God is always teaching us about Love. It seems just when we think we understand love a new seed is planted in our hearts and we are even more a witness to The Father’s Love for us .This blog is a witness to love,Both of God for Sam and Erin and our love for them. Thank you for sharing your Love for them with all of us God bless all of you and please add my son mike to your prayer list he haas been in Bagdad for ayear and should be home in January. Thanks again ,MM

  3. Aunt Cari says:

    Thank God for Erin. She is really directing this recovery and we are so thankful for her. Sam is so lucky to have such an amazing advocate! And thanks to everyone who is so involved.

    Love you guys… Aunt Cari and Uncle David

  4. Danalee says:

    Great news! Sam is coming along quite well, in my book. God is working through Erin. It seems the most natural thing on earth, if you think about it. She is God’s instrument here on earth, bringing hope and healing to Sam and educating his caregivers, as well. I have great faith in both God and Erin.

    As for Ben Stein, he had some great stuff to say in the video. I may even read his book–particularly since all the profits go to TAPS. Good on ya, Mr. Stein.

  5. HN Karl Gieseke says:

    As one of the corpsmen who volunteered on 5E at NNMC I am absolutely overjoyed to hear that Sam is doing so much better than he was when he left here. It really proves to me that prayers are answered. Sam is an inspiration, and I am glad I found this website so that I can continue to know the amazing progress he is making. I am sure he doesn’t remember watching t.v. with me at night in his room while I was assigned to him, (actually I met you once, Tony over Labor Day weekend) but it honestly inspired me tremendously. It was an honor to assist in his treatment, and I will continue to pray for his continued recovery.

  6. Tony Neria says:

    Karl, it is so nice to hear from you. I do remember meeting you. It was actually the morning I left and came in early to say goodby to Sam. It was so comforting knowing there was someone in the room with Sam through the night ready and able to take care of him if the need arose.

    Take a look at some of my previous post Karl, and you will know the love and respect I have for Navy Corpsman. Glad you found the blog…send a comment every know and then. You and all Navy Corpsman are the angels of our Marines.

  7. In the book of Nehemiah, the man of God worked for a long, long time to rebuild the city of the Lord, and the walls; his enemies tried every trick in the book to keep the work from being completed, but Nehemiah refused to stop doing the work of God; This story reminds me SO much of what Erin is going through with Sam, and now Sam is working with her to rebuild himself; Erin…keep on keepin ON!!!
    And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. Nehemiah 6:3&4

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