Berkeley school children visit the wounded troops

There’s not a lot of good press about the folks in the city of Berkeley California.  The Berkeley city council has embarrassed the whole country by letting everyone know that the Marine recruiter office is not welcome there.  They are also openly supporting a group of misguided antiwar activist who have decided the best way to protest our involvement in Iraq is to pick on the Marines who have absolutely no say in where or when they are called to action. 

But—all is not lost with the good people of Berkeley.  This past week, students from a fourth grade class in Berkeley visited the troops in the Polytrama center at the Palo VA hospital.  They brought valentines day cards that they made in class and distributed them among the wound troops.  Their parents made baked goods which were also given out to the guys in the ward.  Erin said the teacher asked her what type of things the guys needed at the hospital because they wanted to make regular visits to the wounded troops.  There was no protesting…no barricading of doors, no yelling anti-military slogans.  Just young children being taught by their teacher and parents to respect the men and women of our military who are recovering from very serious wounds.  There is hope for Berkeley after all!

Sam’s medical statusBefore I get to far into talking about Sam. Let me direct you to the new Flickr photo strip on the right hand side of this Sam working on with the blowflex_2_15_2008_palo alto vablog.  I’ve configured the photo strip so that Erin can take pictures of Sam and herself using her camera phone, email it to my Flickr account from her phone, and it will automatically get fed into Sam’s blog through an RSS feed.   I see Erin has already been playing with this cool feature.  She sent the picture of Sam in the therapy gym working with the BowFlex machine.  She also had a little fun and sent the Mickey Mouse ear’s photo. 

Sam is all set to be transferred to Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital this coming Saturday (2/23/2008).  He will be there for at least eight weeks and will be under the care of their TBI specialist, Dr. Deborah Doherty.  Last week, Erin completed the paperwork to get Sam’s medical treatment at Kentfield paid for through Tri-Care Remote.  This will allow Sam to begin treatment in their TBI program right away instead of waiting for the VA certification which would take at least six months.  We are not sure exactly where Erin will be staying yet, but regardless of the circumstances, she will be right with Sam the whole time (she wouldn’t have it any other way). 

Sam’s right arm and hand mobility improved a little this past week.  He was reaching the back of his neck with his hand where he was hurting.  He’s also getting good at scratching with his hand when the need arises.  Sam continues to try to speak, but is only able to make whispers.  We are hoping the stay at Kentfield will improve his auditory skills as they have some special treatment that has proven to be effective on patients like Sam. 


5 Responses to Berkeley school children visit the wounded troops

  1. Lori Duffy says:

    I am inspired by Erin and her devotion to Sam. Sam’s situation touched my heart deeply months ago and I have been praying for him and praising God for his healing as time goes on. Elizabeth Fulgaro delivered a “healing” scarf from me to Sam that our bible study group had anointed and prayed over before it was given to Sam.

    I continue to pray for Sam and Erin’s healing journey, knowing that God has a special plan and purpose for their lives. The blog and updates sent by email are a blessing and an example of how faith in God binds a family together as well as a community.

    The Berkeley protest against our Marines has been so disheartening to me that I was thrilled to hear of the visit by the school children. It is a reminder that a whole community must not be condemned for a “minority’s” viewpoint. It is time for the “silent” majority to become the “vocal ” majority and be an example of Christ’s love in all situations.

    Thank you for speaking for us in so many ways.

    In Christ’s Love,
    Lori Duffy
    Danville, CA

  2. Wanda Simpson says:

    Dear Erin,
    I just wanted to drop you a line to say “Hello” and let you know that we think of you often and continue to keep you and Sam in our prayers. As you may recall, I am Nicholl (Nikki) Mishaga’s grandmother. My husband, Ron and I met and visited you and Sam at the VA hospital when Nikki’s husband Phil was also there.

    We are so pleased to hear of the wonderful progress that Sam is making. My admiration for you grows with each blog/update I receive. I feel sure your love and dedication to Sam has played a very large part in his recovery. May God continue to bless the two of you.

    With love,
    Wanda Simpson

  3. stacy lee says:

    Glad that he improved some last week. Please know that I keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. michael monk II says:

    I feel it. the Holy spirit is Lifting you and Sam up. Strap on your seat belts and hold on God is taking care of everything! Just had a strong urge ,no, superstrong urge to pray for Sam and you !something is happening in a Big way ! In Jesus ,Mike

  5. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hey there Sam, Erin & Family!!

    You’ve all been on my mind – ok more than usual!! 🙂 I hope that the move went as scheduled, and as smoothly as possible. It must be so nice to get a change of scenery!! Change is good. Change will bring great things for Sam, and he’s going to continue to recover more and more every day. Anyway I was just thinking about you all, and sending prayers, support, love and loads of Angel Hugs your way! God bless you Sam, Erin and Family – hope all is well.

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