News Coverage Wanes as Iraq War Goes into 5th Year

news coverage_IAVA Yesterday there was a significant amount of coverage in the news about war casualties in Iraq reaching the 4,000 mark. But after five years of war, Americans are getting weary with Iraq. There is only a very small percentage of Americans who are truly affected by the war. With the elections coming up, the mortgage melt down, the latest on Lindsay and Brittany—there isn’t a lot of time to cover things like war casualties, PTSD and TBI. It’s so depressing, isn’t it?

According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), only 3% of the news in February was dedicated to the war. An even more troubling statistic; only one in three Americans know how many American troops have died in Iraq! According to the Pew Research Center, press coverage of the war is at its lowest point since the war began. I’ll bet more people know who got voted off American idol last week!

Please take a minute now to sign an open letter to the media (sponsored by the IAVA) and demand that major networks increase their coverage of the Iraq war. Our troops are still in danger every hour of the day in Iraq. They are still fighting for their country. We must continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. We must not let our news media and our government allow the American public to detach themselves from the men and women who are dying for our country. We must also not allow the American public to forget that, yes, 4000 troops have now died in Iraq—-but many more wounded troops are returning with devastating injuries. It is our responsibility as voters and Americans to ensure these men and women who have served their country so bravely, will be given the best medical care possible.

Sam_physical therapy_3_22_08_kentfield Sam’s medical status: This picture to the right is of Sam during physical therapy at Kentfield. His right arm continues to get stronger. You can see in this “action shot” that he is punching up to meet Erin’s hand.

Last weekend Sam was put on the drug bromocriptine. According to Sam’s doctor, this drug has had success in stimulating the speech recovery of brain injury patients. They are starting him on a very small dosage and moving him up to around 12 milligrams per day depending on Sam’s reaction. On Tuesday Erin called and said that Sam was starting to mouth words much better and she was able to read his lips more easily. After his speech therapy on Tuesday Erin asked him how his therapy went and without any prompting, he spelled out for her (via the alphabet board) board “all right”.

The news kept getting better and better as the week went by: On Friday (Good Friday) Erin called her mother and asked her if she wanted to say hi to Sam. She put the phone up to Sam’s ear and said hi to him, and the most exciting thing happened—he said “hello” back to her! Yes—clear and fairly strong! Erin was just giggling with excitement!

Yesterday Erin came up to have Easter dinner with us here in Citrus Heights (Sacramento area) and right before we started to eat our dinner, Sam’s mother called (she was with Sam at Kentfield). She said he was doing great and very active. As she was leaving the room to go back home, she sneezed and again very clearly, heard Sam say “bless you”.

It was a truly “blessed” Easter for the Nichol’s and Neria families. Thank you for your prayers.

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9 Responses to News Coverage Wanes as Iraq War Goes into 5th Year

  1. I’m a Soldier in the U.S. Army and when I heard news of the 4000 death mark I became sick to my stomach. I’m lucky enough to have been to Iraq and return home to my family but so many of my fellow Soldiers have not been as fortunate. And in my heart i feel like every one of those 4000 deaths our president is to be blamed for.

    We’ve opened up a discussion on our blog so I can talk to people and answer their questions and hopefully make people understand that not all military are supporting this war and that every one of those deaths was important and unneeded. I’d like it you’d stop by and toss in your two cents.

    I’m all for defending my country but U.S. did not need to be defended from Iraq.

  2. Carol says:

    Tears of joy are running down my cheeks. What a wonderful answer to many prayers and much hard work on Sam and Erin’s part. Keep up the good work Sam and Erin I know that God will continue to give strength and guidance.

  3. Chris and Tiffany Sheler says:

    I was thrilled to read Sam’s recent progress. Proof positive that prayer works! (As if there were any doubt.) Keep up the great work Sam. We are praying for you and Erin daily.

    God Bless,
    Chris

  4. julie says:

    I was just reading the update to my daughter sammi and tears are streaming down my face.. I’m so thrilled for all of you. Our prayers and positive thoughts continue… bless you all!!

  5. Hi…since I learned that Sam has even said Bless You…I would like to remind us of what the Psalmist said…Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me Bless His Holy Name! We became grandparents on Saturday…. Mackenzie Marie Schmidt…came a little early at 30 weeks. 2lb.s6 ounces…Mother and child are both fine! Keep the Faith!

  6. Wanda Simpson says:

    Praise the Lord!! I’m so happy to hear that Sam is making such great strides. Erin, you deserve so much credit for this. What a wonderful wife you are to stand by your man and be so helpful to him. You have truly demonstrated the “ultimate love”. May God continue to bless the two of you! I will keep you in my prayers.

  7. Aunt Joy says:

    As I was reading all the news on Sam I caught a glimpse of the top photo in the FLICKR pictures and had to enlarge it to see what it was. I thought Sam was holding a stuffed gorilla and it turned out to be Erin. It immediately brought tears to my eyes. He looks so good, so normal so alive. And you can truly see the love in his embrace. God will continue to heal Sam and bring him back to Erin %100 percent. You can see it in his loving embrace. He is a mirror of what God is doing to Sam, he is in His loving embrace. God bless you both.

  8. Kristin says:

    Hey there Sam, Erin & Family!

    I’m going to join the ranks who have had the tears running down my face after reading this one!!! God is good, God is great, God is lifting you up Sam!!! And these pics are GREAT. Sam you are looking better and better with each one. And “Erin getting a hug from her man” – another pic that speaks millions of words and just screams “LOVE”.

    I’m so glad and thankful and happy and ….. a million other things for your all. This is such great progress, Sam & Erin and everyone your hard work is paying off BIGTIME!!!

    God bless you Sam, Erin, the Nichols & Neria Families. You are all in my thoughts and my prayers each and every day and you ALWAYS will be. Hugs, support and love are sent to you all, all the time.

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

    PS – I get so…., pissed (nicest word I can think of!), every day when I hop on my elliptical in the morning, turn on the news, and see the Hollywood idiots be the “breaking news” stories on every major news channel while the ticker at the bottom of the screen is the only place, occasionally, that you can get an “update” on OIF. Just as depressing is the complete lack of news on what’s going on with OEF, it really is the Forgotten War. It makes me nuts to think that these brave heroes are giving their all for us every single day and most of the people over here don’t know it, don’t appreciate it, or worse – don’t care. All of us here all working on change, and together we can raise awareness that each and every hero and their families all deserve credit, honor, sincere thanks, ceremonies, the world for what you do for us every day.

  9. Carol Calloway says:

    This is terrific news. And I am sure overjoyed is an understatement for the Nichols and Neria families right now. May God continue to bless all of you with further improvements in Sam’s condition and Erin’s loving care for Sam. Needless to say, my prayers continue for all of you everyday.

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