Song for Our Soldiers

A tribute to the brave men and women that have fought for our country. By talented, young artist Noelle Garcia. Featured on her new album "Set the World On Fire" being released October 2009. Owned by World Library Publications, 800-566-6150.

 From Erin’s Dad Tony:  Sam was given a cognitive evaluation last week by his speech therapist at CareMeridian and he scored a 100 out of 116.  This is significant in that three months ago he was given the same test and scored 73.  The therapist said they will probably need to give him a more advanced test next time so they can continue to document his progress.

transfer_training_Sam_Nichols_9_25_09_CareMeridian_Granite_Bay Sam and his therapist have been working on his “transfer” training (Sam helping them move him from his bed to his wheel chair or wheel chair to his therapy table).  At his last session, Sam’s therapist only had to use one hand to transfer him and Sam was able to do the rest with his right arm…which seems to be getting stronger all the time.  There is also a transfer board that he has to maneuver under himself which aids in sliding his body between bed and chair.  This is a big change from when Sam was at Kentfield Rehab Hospital because just four months ago, he was being transferred totally by a  body sling and lift. 

My daughter Allison and her fiancé Lewis came to visit Sam this past weekend—significant in that Sam max_and_sam_caremerdian_9_25_2009remembered Allison is pregnant and he remembers Lewis who came into Sam’s life after he was injured.  Allison said Sam started talking to her right when they came in the room without having to prompt him or ask him any questions.  That brings up another bright spot in Sam’s ongoing improvement—he is talking much more often and his speaking voice is marginally clearer.  Part of Sam’s therapy involves calling Erin every morning (with the aid of the therapist) before she arrives at the rehab home.  This helps him to practice initiating conversation and is also meant to reassure Sam that Erin is just a phone call away and can be by his side within 15 minutes if needed.  Sam had another special guest a few weeks ago…our dog Max.  Max is a miniature Schnauzer a very friendly and calm dog.  Sam enjoyed having Max visit as did the nurses and other patients.  

From Sam’s dad Eric:  We saw Sam and Erin yesterday[9/28/09], and they looked terrific. He had shaved himself, was very responsive, and in spite of the warmth of the day, loved being outdoors on the patio. The staff at CareMeridian is top notch and as we visited, one of Sam’s favorite nurses brought him some cold packs for his neck and CuddleBuddies_9_18_2009_caremeridian_granite_bay arms to ensure his comfort.  Another had just served several of us ice water as we interacted with Sam.  Erin had been reading to Sam, but they seemed to welcome the break for some lively conversation. Sam called her close to him for a hug, and Erin touched his warm face with the outside of her glass of ice water.  He didn’t like it, so Erin reminded him that if he didn’t like something to tell her to stop it; so he said it, "Stop it". Ha! We discovered that Sam doesn’t have a favorite car, but has loved all the vehicles he has already had, that he remembers scaring off some burglars from Erin’s car several years ago, and was unsure of what car Erin was driving at the moment.  His vision therapist has been doing some good things that have made a noticeable and immediate impact in his behaviors. He turns his head more in both directions, and seems to focus better when talking directly to you. One very exciting thing is that he initiates prayer on his own behalf, and when Wendy asked him who was healing him, he responded, "The Lord".  His doctor visits have all been positive as of late, and the dreaded infections have been kept at bay.  He is both patient and impatient; anxious but relaxed, stoic, but lighthearted.  He is loved deeply by all, and returns that love with interest….

Much love,


9 Responses to Song for Our Soldiers

  1. We have not forgotten Sam and Erin; although we have been covered up, but just a reminder that God is in control, and we sometimes fail to realize that we have no knowledge whatsoever of many things, even what goes on outside the four walls that we are in at the moment, but God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy is looking from a vantage point that spans the entire Universe, and much further than that. I guess I can safely say that even at our best, we are pretty dumb, and God is pretty smart, and both sides of this spectrum are real understatements. We praise Him for Who He is, and we thank Him for WHOSE we are.

  2. Carol Calloway says:

    It sounds like Sam is really progressing well. This is some good news. I will continue to pray that Sam improves day by day and that both Sam and Erin continue to grow in strength and love. God bless you both and watch over you always.


  3. ashadeofblues says:

    Love hearing of Sam’s improvements and seeing there love in the pictures!! Still praying for one of our favorite Marines!

    Semper Fi!

  4. Eric (Sam's Dad) says:

    Good Morning All,

    The event is the total restoration of Sam; physically, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually. It is our goal, both spoken and unspoken, dreamed, digested, and re-lived more times than we can count. That day will be glorious and full of joy, and I’m sure will involve weeping, praising, and many recommitments to our Lord God. I know that God values the event, for it is where He can show his power over life and death, and his incredible love for his creation; but I can’t help but wonder if He doesn’t value the process more. Our journey with Sam and Erin has been a long one, but not as long comparatively speaking to others with similar injuries. Great faith has been experienced and developed during this process. Learning and personal growth has occurred. Walls and strongholds have been torn down, and relationships never before imagined have been built and developed. We have learned to work together, be more sensitive to the feelings and grief’s of others, and most importantly I believe, have learned to exercise the patience of faith. Who has faith? EVERYONE! Romans 12:3 says “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”. It is a gift from God and not something that you can just stir up in yourself. Faith is dynamic, not static. It must be growing or it withers and dies. The only way to make it grow is by hearing the word of God. That’s right, by hearing. Read your bible out loud for it is the spoken Word of God that sends angels scrambling, invokes the mysteries of heaven, and brings the healing power of God’s kingdom close to us. Insert Sam and Erin’s names into those passages that deal with healing and miracles. The event that we look forward to will be a one day occurrence, but the process we will remember for a lifetime…and all of you who stood with us for Sam’s total restoration…We love you all…

  5. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hi guys!

    Just stopping in to say HEY to the most bestest couple and family this side of the Pacific. What a beautiful song, I will definitely look for it!

    Hope that you have been feeling well and have been continuing to improve, continuing to move closer and closer to your full restoration. You are all in my thoughts and my prayers every single day, and you always will be.

    I don’t know why, but the pic of you Erin with your head on Sam’s chest made me smile and cry at the same time. I know I’ve said it before, and will say it again, but holy moly one can SEE the love you have for each other!!!

    Thoughts, prayers, support and loads of extra special angel hugs are always on their way to you and your families. ALWAYS. God bless you all.

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  6. chitter says:

    i am the daughter of tipper she has a blog to i know you don’t know me but i think it’s teribble you are hurt you are in my prayers samuel i love and respect your service chitter

  7. Carol says:

    Thank you Sam for serving our country. Each day we remember you, Erin and your families in our prayers. However, today being Veteran’s Day we want to pause and say Thank You. We are reminded that freedom is not Free, but pray for your total restoration. Each milestone whether big or small brings you one step closer to physical, mental and spiritual restoration.
    Know that some of us whom you don’t even know pray for you and will continue to. God bless all of you and may He lift your spirits and hearts.

  8. The Kjenstad Family says:

    Sgt. Sam…today, Veterans Day, we honor and salute YOU. We are truly grateful to you. You, Erin and your families are forever in our hearts and prayers. Take care and know we are all still here, cheering you on!!God Bless you all. OXOXOX

  9. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hey there Sam & Erin –

    I wanted to send you a few belated words to let you know that you and your families were all in my thoughts and prayers in a very special way yesterday, Veteran’s Day, as were all of our brave servicemen and women past and present. It remains impossible to ever be able to thank you enough, or adequately for everything you have done, given, sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice for me, my family, this great country and our sweet, precious Freedom.

    And thank you Erin and all families of our brave heroes who give and sacrifice so much for us as well. I wish they would adopt a Veteran’s Family Day as well. You are in fact the backbone of this country.

    Without all of you, this great country would never, could never exist.

    God bless you Sam, Erin, the Nichols and Neria families. God bless all of our servicemen past and present. God bless America!!!

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

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