Mr President – Pass the new G.I. Bill

Erin is back home safe from her trip to Dallas for the Brain Injury Association of America Care Givers Conference. She actually got stuck at the airport in Dallas-Ft Worth because of mechanical difficulties with the plane. No problem though—American Airlines gave her a hotel and meal voucher and she came home yesterday.
While Erin was waiting at the airport on Sunday, she met another Marine and found out that he was in 2/11 Golf Battery (Sam was in Kilo). He didn’t personally know Sam, but did recognize his name from when they were in Iraq on Sam’s first tour. The Marine was nearing the end of his second enlistment and told Erin he had been deployed overseas on six different occasions (three being to Iraq).

I can’t imagine what this Marine has seen and done in the past eight years. How do we repay him for his service to our country? Wear a Red shirt on Fridays…send care packages to the troops, put a yellow ribbon sticker on our car? Ok, those things are nice, but how about a new GI Bill? That is exactly the thought of our Congress. The House of Representatives passed the new GI Bill 256 to 166. The Senate passed the bill 75 to 22. Oddly enough, the only hurdle to this bill passing is the signature of the President of the United States. The Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces!

President Bush is not in favor of the new G.I. Bill because he feels it would hurt retention rates. He and a few other congressmen feel the new G.I. Bill (which is much less generous than the original WWII G.I. Bill) is too good and will reward veterans to richly for their service to our country. I would think President Bush would be the head cheerleader of this bill. I would think he would be encouraging all Americans to support this bill.

Why not take a few minutes to let President Bush know how you feel? Just click on the graphic below or this link – G.I. Bill 2008. You will be taken to the IAVA G.I. Bill web site where you can sign a petition letting the President know how you feel and encourage him to sign the bill. The link also gives you more background information about the bill and how it affects retention and recruitment of our troops.

new GI Bill petition from IAVA

Sam’s medical status (from Sam’s father Eric):

(Before I get to Eric’s update, we received a call from Erin this morning. She said before she arrived to see Sam this morning, the nurse told her he had five seizures. The first seizure was a “Grand Mal” and the other four were “Petit”. Sam is just getting over another bladder infection and the doctor said they seizures may have occurred because his immune system was weak. He is on oxygen today as a safety precaution but Erin said he he talking and doing well. When one of the nurses came in to give him some Tylenol, he asked her, “what are you giving me?”. That was pretty cool because he initiated the conversation himself without being prompted. When Erin called Eric to tell him about the seizures, even though Sam was falling asleep, he kept repeating words that he heard Erin saying. Her and Eric got a laugh out of that.)

Good Morning All!

I usually write to convey my feelings and observations about Sam and his road to recovery. It occurred to me this week to maybe write about someone else’s experiences that they’ve had with Sam…I’ve written about Erin extensively and rightly so; her dedication and love for Sam continues to inspire and motivate me to believe in God’s promises…after all, if he (God) gives that kind of love in a marriage, then of course he will follow through on his promises to heal Sam…

I took notice of another very special love this week…As Erin spent 3 days in Dallas at a caregivers conference, where I’m sure she blessed those in attendance; Kelley and I willingly shared the duty of being with Sam. The time I spent with him was wonderful, although uneventful. It is a pleasure to sit back and envision Sam’s restoration through faith…Faith is the evidence of things not seen, but of which we are totally certain….AND we are certain of that full restoration…Anyway, Kelly had dropped me an email describing her past two visits with Sam and I thought they were cute enough to share…

When Kelly arrived she knocked on his door to let him know he had a visitor; he turned his head in the direction of the door and a very large and distinct smile beamed forth…Kelley announced, “It’s Mom!; as if he didn’t know…Ha! In his excitement to see her, he began to blurt out a greeting…Two full sentences of pent up glee to see his Mom…Some of it was lost in translation, but the intent and joy were unmistakable…I’ve always known that when a kid (of any age) is hurting or injured; he wants his Mom…It is no different with the toughest Marine I know…Kelley’s warmth and caring demeanor for Sam is apparent, and he recognizes it…Vanessa, (Kelley’s husband’s daughter) is also visiting and lovingly shares her Ipod with Sam. She gives him the ear bud and Sam adjusts it himself to enable him to hear a selection Vanessa has chosen just for him…Sam lays back with his eyes closed and enjoys the music…A while later, they hear Sam snap his fingers and even without any music in the background. This is new to them so they ask him to repeat it and he does. Jose, (Kelley’s husband) snaps his fingers along with Sam to an imaginary song…It is fatiguing to Sam and he quickly tires but Kelley reports the snapping was loud, and perfectly formed…What a creative way to stimulate and entertain him…

Kelley works a full time and very demanding job with 24/7 responsibilities, but still makes the time to visit with and let Sam know of her constant love and continual involvement in his rehabilitation. I am gratified by her dedication. I also appreciate the love and support shown for Sam by Jose and his daughters. They are a Christian family and display that belief with the works of a very alive and active faith…Indeed, another blessing to which we give God all the credit…

Please see with your Spirit, Sam’s total restoration and then never be influenced by what you may see in the natural again; for that “finished work” is our new reality, and I will not entertain any other vision…

Until next time, much love,
Eric

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3 Responses to Mr President – Pass the new G.I. Bill

  1. Albion Wilde says:

    What a beautiful story of love and hope in this edition. Keep up the good work, Sam I Am!!

    I have a brain-injured family member (aneurysm and stroke) who has also had seizure challenges whenever there is a urinary tract infection. Because of the difficulty with walking to the bathroom with only one good leg, she doesn’t drink enough water and therefore gets infections too easily. There seems to be a connection between an infection in the body and the seizure response. I hope the docs are on top of this for Sam.

    All of you Nicholses and Nerias are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love to all…

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