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’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.