Sam & Erin

Sam pointing to his girl Who Are Sam and Erin? Sam and Erin are originally from Citrus Heights California. Both attended Casa Robles High School. Erin and Sam are both 23. They met in high school while participating in the HS Air Force ROTC program. They have been married four years and are each other’s soul mates. Sam has been in the Marine Corps for four years. His job title is Cannoneer. During Sam’s second deployment to Iraq he was severely injured by an IED. Four other Marines were killed in the IED explosion.

Cards and Letters can be sent to Erin and Sam at the following address:

Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital
Attn:  SGT Sam Nichols, room 205-B
1125 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Kentfield, California  94904


87 Responses to Sam & Erin

  1. christopher charles freeman says:

    O f___, i seriously need sam to come through. Erin and donny i love you.

  2. Ali says:

    I haven’t met sam, but my heart and thoughts are with you all.

  3. Meredith Poteran says:

    I haven’t talked to Erin (via Myspace) in a few months but for some reason she has been in my thoughts lately, which I took to be a sign that I need to send her a message. But now I see it’s a sign to have her, Sam, and family in my daily prayers. I pray that God will take care of Sam and Erin in their time of need.

  4. Nikki Eberwein says:

    Never doubt the power of prayer. Sam is a strong man and a great man at that, he is destin for more than this. Erin my thoughts and prayers are with you, we are all here. Love you

  5. Liz Finberg-Timmerman says:

    Sam and Erin are always in my thoughts and prayers. I remember the day they got together and sat on Carlys couch making out instead of dancing and partying like the rest of us. I remember the best summer of my life just before senior year when we werent sure if Sam and Erin would make it. Sam and I spent that whole summer together. And I remember Kelly saving me a seat up front with the family when Sam and Erin got married. Sam and Erin are my family. I love you guys and I cant wait for you to wake up Sam and Erin you are so wonderful and so strong.

  6. Karen Winnett says:

    My prayers certainly go out to Sam and all family members and friends. May The Good Lord give you all courage and strength and maybe even a miracle!

    Karen Winnett
    Fmr USMC
    V.P. V.V.A. Chapter 500

  7. tneria says:

    Hi Erin
    I just went to visit Eric
    He looked tired but well cared for. Tomorrow John5:1-15 will be in my thoughts the entire day. We love you and there isn’t a moment in the day that you and Sam are not far from out thoughts.
    Love u
    Karen annd Chip (and the rest of the family)
    PS socks are on the way

  8. Meghann Wernegreen says:


    I could swear it was just yesterday that you were skating down my driveway with your pillow. I blink my eyes and I see you out front with Brad and Bridget and Jimmy and I can’t believe you were growing up so fast. I blink again and you are in high school, doing what I did and becoming such a beautiful woman. I remember you telling me about the day you and Sam starting ‘going out’. It doesn’t really feel that long ago, but it’s been several years now. I blink once more and I’m at your wedding, watching two of the most wonderful people I know and love saying their vows and not just looking in love, but feeling it and sharing your happiness with everyone. What a wonderful day that was, and I know in my heart you will have many more in the future. I believe in miracles, Erin, and I believe that you and Sam still have so many wonderful experiences in your future together. Your bravery, courage, love, devotion, faith and strength are nothing short of incredible and you go about with them every day with such grace. You are a wonderful example of a wife, a Marine Corps spouse, a woman and a friend. I am so proud to call you and Sam my friends, and even more blessed to be called yours. We love you so much and are thinking of you constantly. We pray for you daily and I wish so much that I was there with you to hold your hands and pray alongside you. I am, though, even with as far away as we are right now. Stay strong and keep your eyes on Jesus. Much love and many prayers to you and Sam…..


    “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9

  9. Erin Nichols says:

    golly Meghann, you’re making us cry. I love and thank you. I really miss you and the fam. Semper Fidelis has taken on a whole new meaning huh?

  10. Becky says:

    Sam, Happy birthday dear hero. Keeping you in my prayers dear sir. May God pull you thru this tough time. And Erin, God be with you and your family.
    God Bless you Sam.

  11. Aunt Joni says:


    I wish I could hold you and make all the pain go away!!!!!!! You and Sam are in my thoughts, and continuous prayers. You are both so strong. God could not have put together a better match.

    If there is ANYTHING I CAN DO FOR YOU (ie make phone calls, contact friends anything you need) PLEASE LET ME KNOW.


    I’m praying for Sam. I hope you know how mucheverone in your family loves Sam.

    Imagine, if you can that I am holding you, comforting you, and praying with you!

    My Love and prayers are with Sam & you.

    My love to you always,

    Your very proud,
    Aunt Joni, Uncle Mark, Joe Joe & Calico

  12. hey erin,
    i found out about the situation a week ago from misty smith.i want you all to know we pray for you all every night before we goto bed.i remember the exact minute sam, kontor and i were in 1st sgts office and agreed to go back for another tour with kilo.For some unknown reason sam was the one who went and they told kontor and myself they couldnt take us.Sam looked ay me and said “I HAVE TO GO BACK WITH THESE GUYS,THEY ARE MY BROTHERS”. Maj Policellie is keeping amanda and i informed on his condition aswell as this web site.If there is anything at all we can do please let us can contact me through email… will continue to to pray and hope for sams condition to become better everyday.
    josh and Amanda webster

  13. Fred & Karen Hazen says:

    Hi. We don’t know you, but our son is assigned to Kilo and has asked us to pray for Sam. We will be doing so and ask that our church will as well.

  14. KAREN AMES says:


  15. Haley says:

    Hey there. I dont know you guys but there was a myspace bulletin posted about sam and it led me to this site and I read up and I just wanna say that I know he will be fine, god will make sure of it! Your family is in my prayers!
    ❤ Haley

  16. Jes says:

    Hi, I too saw the myspace bulletin and followed it to here. As I read about the two of you I was struck by the by some similarities in our love stories… Perhaps it is that reason that I feel so strongly, perhaps it is just the faith in all the posts, but I feel such an urge to send you a message. I can not imagine the uncertainty that you are feeling and I will pray that God restores your Love to you so that you may have the happily everafter you both deserve. Please know that Sam is thought about by one more person.
    our prayers are with you,
    a proud Air Force Wife

  17. Lindsay says:

    Hey Erin!!
    Just wanted you to know that I love you and miss you. I keep hearing from everyone how awesome you are doing, and that’s no surprise 🙂 If you need any company, let me know and I’ll fly out there! Books are on the way.

  18. Dianne says:

    Your entire family and Sam are in our prayers. God will choose the right path for him.
    I am praying for a miracle.

  19. Brian Roth says:

    Hey Erin Its Brian Roth. I don’t know if you remember me but i was in Kilo Btry With Sam. My wife and I were at your Hollween Party. I just want you and your family to know if there is anything you need PLEASE let me know. Our prayers are with you.
    Semper Fi

  20. Julie says:

    We are freinds with Michael Gaffney, Sam’s Kilo battery commander, who has asked us all to pray for your family. You are all in our prayers for a miracle.

  21. Cheryl James says:

    My husband is also with the Task Force MP in Iraq. He is the Medical Chief for 1/12. Please know that the guys are reading your post and anxiously awaiting for miracles to happen. To your daughter, Erin, please stay strong and take care of yourself. It seems that you have taken on the role of “solider” now. You are fighting for him, with him, till he can fight on his own. Please don’t get caught up in long range goals, just focus on today’s “battle”. If you prevail in the small battles you will eventually win the war! You are a in every way what a “Military Wife” should represent and be. I will keep you in my thoughts! My favorite quote for difficult times has been and remains, “If god brings you to it, then he will get you through it”!

    Part of your Marine Corps/Navy Family,

    Cheryl James

  22. nicole says:

    Hi, I know you dont know us, but I came accross this in a myspace bulliten. My husband is in the airforce. I read this story and it broke my heart. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.


  23. buddie bitler says:

    sorry to hear your very sad story. i will pray for sam and erin everyday. my son also in the marines and just got back from 8 months in al assad. i can’t imagine what your family is going through but thank God for young men like sam and brad….God bless you all. everyone needs to remember 9/11 and what we are fighting for.God performs miracles and we all pray for one with sam

  24. Dear Sam and Erin,

    I, like many other people read the story of Sam in the Sacramento Bee. I have never met either one of you, but I really wanted to respond. It is people like Sam that lets me have the freedom to do what I want. It’s people like Sam who risk their life so I can enjoy life. I’m a veteran of the Marine Corps. I did four years and met a lot of good friends. But, I got out, and it’s people like Sam who continue to protect our country. It does not matter who you are or where you came from in this country, it’s people like Sam who keep us safe. My only hope is that Sam and people like him will be o.k. and that they know I will always be grateful to them and their families.

  25. Jake Kramer says:

    Erin and Sam,

    I know it’s been awhile scince we talked, but I just wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, and your families. I love you two, and I wish there was something I could say to make things better. In the time I have gotten to know you two you have both made me a better person. It has been a privledge to be a part of your lives, and I can’t wait to see you two again.

  26. Lori says:

    Dear Erin,
    I just read the article in the Bee and I recognized you and your family name right away. I don’t think you remember me, but I was married to Mike Lazenby and I have a daughter named Maija. I was showing her your picture and explaining that it was her cousin Ira’s cousin. I just want you to know we are praying for you and Sam. What you’ve sacraficed for our country is immeasurable. Your faith willl get you through but know there are many people praying for you as well. God Bless.

  27. Erin Nichols says:

    of course I remember you Lori. Thank you.

    Jake, I claima this land for Spain, and I claima this Sam for me. We love you too man. It’s great to hear from you. We’ll see you soon.

  28. Erin says:

    I just wanted to send my thoughts & prayers to you both. My brother is Patrick Couhie & I’m not sure if you know him, but I can’t even imagine what I would do if anything happened to him! I will continue to pray for him & now add you both to my prayers. Just remember miracles do happen & I will be praying for a miracle to go your way. Try to stay strong & keep hope alive. Praying for the best, Erin Couhie

  29. Jake Kramer says:

    Erin, your making me cry, I was just remembering that night today. “FREEDOM!!!”.
    Just hearing from you has already made me feel that much better. Please call for any reason if you want, I know your busy so, whenever. Love ya.

  30. Lauri Balbi says:

    I just read the article in the Bee yesterday and you all have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since. We used to live down the street from Joni and Mark in Citrus Heights and I remember you from Woodside. My daughter Megan and Brigitte were good friends. Megan’s husband Kevin is in the army reserves and has been back from Iraq just over a year. I am going to pass this on to friends at our church (Fair Oaks Pres.) so we will get even more people praying for a miracle. Our God is amazing and he works all things out for good. If there is anything we can do for you please let us know.

  31. Kalista Kersten says:

    Hi, how ya holding up? we have all seen or heard about the article in the newspaper, it touches the heart and the pictures bring memories and tears. Everyone here misses you and sam and are praying for you everyday. I will continue to pray for sam (as always) as well as those who are still over there and those who are in the hospitals. I know that is all we can do, but we will continue to do so strongly! Hope both of you come home soon 🙂

  32. Jennifer Ariss says:

    Erin my thoughts and prayers are with you, Sam and your families. Although you probably do not remember me, I remember you and your family very well. I am a sister of one of your parents neighbors and watched you and your sister grow up with my nieces and nephews.
    I will pray for Sam as well as for all of our men and women who continue to put their lives on the line every day in order to keep our country free.

  33. Trisha Snyder says:

    I attended Zion Lutheran Church with the Nichols family. My brother Nathan Gatchell was confirmed with Sam. I wanted to let Erin and Sam’s family that my family and I are keeping you in our prayers.

  34. Kathy Slingsby says:

    If everyone was granted one wish or miracle I would and will gladly give this to you Erin. I pray every night for Sam’s recovery, it seems you are the last thing I think about as I go to sleep so it seems like a very good time to send that prayer and hope just this once he will listen to me and grant me this one wish or miracle for you. We love you and your family Erin.




  36. Grandma & Grandpa Neria says:

    Dear Erin, Please know you and Sam are in our thoughts and prayers every minute of every day and often in the night. We believe our God is a God of miracles and that is what we pray for continuously. Stay strong and know our Lord is at your side. We love you…Grandma & Grandpa Neria

  37. Debi & Tony Newman says:

    Erin, Although you don’t know us, we are dear friends of Jim & Kathy Slingsby and they let us know about Sam. Like them, we have a son in the military; ours just got back from Afghanistan. We are keeping Sam, as well as you and your families, in our thoughts, our hearts, and our prayers. A miracle is possible and we will continue to hope and pray for one for Sam. We are sending you our support, as well as our love. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of our troops and their familes and offer our thanks and prayers for those men and women serving. We will also continue to pray for the other soldiers that have long roads of recovery ahead of them and their familes.

  38. Robin Prince says:

    I received Allison’s email awhile ago and just found out about this website. How wonderful of you to keep us informed while your families are going through such a difficult time. Sam has been in my thoughts and prayers. He is one of those people you never forget meeting. I believe he was in one of my very first classess that I taught at Casa. He was always a gentleman, respectful and kind to all. I believe in miracles and Sam really deserves it. Thank you Allie for contacting me and Erin, you hang in there. Sam has a lot to be proud of. Take Care…

  39. I haven’t talked to Sam or Erin since I left Casa Roble High School in 2001, but my heart goes out to tem and their families. Being a combat vet myself, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), I have seen first hand what can happen to all our service members who become casualties. But I strongly believe that if anyone can pull through this, it’s Sam. I remember looking up to Sam in AFJROTC. He was a roll model for me in high school. And now, he is an American Hero. And I mean that with every fiber of my being. The the Neria and Nichols families, my families and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    SPC Andrew Lehmann
    United States Army

  40. Sandy Cope says:

    I am the Aunt of Brian Henley who was Sam’s Marine roommate. He had e-mailed us of the tragedy and encouraged us to pray and check this blog site.

    My love for the Lord and Christian faith knows God’s power, love, grace and tender mercies….

    I pray that He wraps his arms around Sam and each of you, to heal and give the strength that is needed.

    God bless you!
    Sandy Cope

  41. Carol Davis says:

    Erin & Sam, I am a member of Soldiers’ Angels, and I want you to know you’re both in my thoughts & prayers. Lots of Angels are pulling for you both.
    God bless & keep you strong.

  42. Judy Bailey says:

    I have just read the latest entries in this blog. I am so inspired by Erin, Sam and the rest of the family. Callie’s video made me cry. A member of Soldier’s Angels, I pray daily for all the troops; but Sam will get extra prayer for that miracle that will happen. Bless you all.

  43. Lorinda Halfpenny says:

    Erin, Sam, as a member of Soldier’s Angels,I just want to let you know you ar truely an inspiration, my thoughts and prayers are with you day and night,all us Angels are praying for you, and all troops serving,God bless you both.

  44. I want to thank all the Soldier’s Angels for the kindness and caring you have shown our families. Without your help with the flights to and fro, it would not be possible for us to stay with Sam & Erin in their time of need.

    Thank you so much and God bless you all,
    Julie Neria

  45. Carol Calloway says:

    Erin being a military wife is not easy under the best of circumstances but it is even more difficult under your current circumstances. Your dad is wonderful to keep all of us up-dated on Sam’s condition and your amazing faith in God. I am the widow of a USAF retiree who has gone home to the Lord 17 years ago. I truly believe in the power of prayer; it got me through alot of lonely nights when my husband was in Vietnam. Just hang in there and keep believing and I firmly believe that one of these days, Sam will open his eyes and say, “Hi, Honey. What are you doing here?” Just believe and I will keep praying for you both.

    God bless you both,

  46. Diana Titus says:

    Dear Sam, Erin, Tony, Julie and family,

    Praise God for Sam being moved to Palo Alto!
    With God, all things are possible. He is the Maker of the Heavens and the earth. Nothing is too hard for Him. You have been, and continue to be, in my prayers.

    In Christ Jesus,

    Diana Titus

  47. jacob barnett SGT USMC says:

    hey erin i dont know if you remember me but you met myself and my wife at the ball last year in the little gift shop at the pala i just wanted to write and say that you and sam are in our prayers many times everyday, so stay strong and tell Sam ‘i love ya man!!! get well soon’ if you ever need anything let me know

    P.S you guys amaze me everyday,

    jake barnett

  48. My grandson is only 3 years old, and his daddy has just recently returned form Iraq, so I understand that knot in your stomach that wants to make you sick when the heros are not there for you to give a hug to daily. My Grandson has a “thing” he does EVERY time he sees the flag,,he yells to anybody around “there is our flag, puts his tiny hand on his forehead above his eyebrow and yells ,SAAALUUUUTE!” and he looks around to make sure everybody around him, looks at the flag. I dedicate this salute, to you Sam, thank you for making my 3 year old Grandson, recognize the flag that you and all the other heroes like you, help keep us respecting our flag and what it stands for,,that is so often forgotten. It is an honor and a blessing, to have men and women like you both, on my side. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband is a retired Marine-he said “Semper Fi Buddy–Semper Fi!

  49. sgt david c burr says:

    if i know anyone, good old sam will get better!!. i love you buddy

  50. Will Murry says:

    Man Im glad Sam is doing better. Such a terrible thing to happen to such a great guy. Hang in there Erin and Sam, time never sits still.

  51. Jenny Colvin says:

    Hi guys, just wanted to say hi and that we are thinking of you here in Orangevale. Haven’t seen or talked to you guys since High School. Erin you are doing a great job, keep up the good work with Sam. Tell him that I said Hi and that I think about him all the time. Take care guys!

  52. David Hendricks says:

    Hi Sam & Erin, I just wanted you both to know that I love you. Sam, today is Veterans
    Day and I wanted you to know that I understand what you, as a brave U.S sooldier., have done on my behalf. You almost had to give your life so that I may live free. Some of your friends and other U.S. troops had to make the ultimate sacrafice. I thank their families for that service. Thank you Sam!
    Love, Uncle David
    P.S. Erin, Your the greatest! For such a small person you sure are pretty strong. (willed)

  53. Cpl Jason Thompson and Cpl Daniel O'brien says:

    Hi Erin, Cpl O’brien and myself would like to come visit you and Sam this Saturday. I was wondering when was the best time to go and how is the best way to get there? Were are coming from Camp Pendleton. Sgt Nichols is a great Marine and a great friend. I know he’ll get better.

  54. Cpl Jason Thompson and Cpl Daniel O'brien says:

    You can contact me at, thank you.

  55. Can People (Cheri') says:

    Hi Erin and Sam,

    We are thinking of you, especially this holiday season. We hope our care packages serve as “gentle reminders” of how much your Nation’s citizens appreciate you too. Erin – don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s aything we can add to our care packages maybe something to help pass the time, a favorite snack, maybe a phone card?

    Take Care Erin and Sam,

    the Can People

  56. Erin, this birthday…and, this Christmas,

    You & Sam … “Make A Wish” … for I BELIEVE you have been blessed,
    MIRACLES still exist, so, “Make A Wish”!

    Pray, Believe, Dream … then,

    ” Make A Wish ”

    I wished … upon a star
    I wished … with ALL … my heart.
    I could see … your face,
    I asked … to take … your place.

    I prayed … on bended knees
    I cried … Lord … PLEASE
    Take away … the pain
    Give it all … to me.

    So, Dream …”Make a Wish”
    I Believe … you HAVE been blessed
    Miracles … still exist … look at you.

    Now, Dream …’til dreams come true
    Make … Believe … everything you do
    Don’t forget … a miracle … waits for you!

    When … you Dream …”Make a Wish”
    And, Believe … you WILL … be blessed
    Miracles … still exist,
    So, “Make a Wish!”

    And, Pray … with ALL … your heart
    Wish … on every star
    Believe …’til dreams come true
    And, Know … I pray for you.

    So, Dream …”Make a Wish”
    I Believe … you HAVE been blessed
    Miracles … still exist … look at you !

    And, Dream …’til dreams come true
    Make … Believe … everything you do
    Don’t forget … a Miracle … waits for you!

    When … you Dream …”Make a Wish”
    I Believe … you WILL … be blessed
    Don’t forget … a Miracle
    Waits … for… YOU!

    So, Dream … ’til dreams … come true!
    Believe … everything you do
    Miracles … still exist
    So, ” Make a Wish ! ”

    Don’t forget … a Miracle
    Waits … for … YOU !

    So … ” Make A Wish ! ”

    (ALL Downloads Free under “Free Downloads” section on homepage)

    (Copyright Nov.21, 2005)
    Susan D. Wiseman – “The Tribute Lady”

    “Christ-Centered Pieces” – Given Gifts
    P.O. Box 1591
    Fayetteville, Ga. 30214-1591

  57. Caroline says:

    Hi Sam & Erin,
    First of all I want to congratulate you on your marriage, I am getting married this weekend (12th January 2008). I am so shocked & sorry to hear what happened to Sam & my love & support goes to you Erin.
    I meet Sam, when he stayed in New Zealand in 2000. And his great smile & personality & friendship left a big stamp in my life, it really saddens me to hear he was hurt, but it’s so great that he has an amazing person like you Erin, by his side.
    I want to wish you both all the best & if you guys ever make it to New Zealand my doors are open to your both!!!

    Send my love & support to Sam,
    And all the best for your future!!!

    New Zealand

  58. Breanna says:

    Dear Sam and Erin,
    I also met and got to know Sam during the summer of 2000 when we went to Australia and New Zealand with the People to People program. It was lucky that Sam’s California group and my Minnesota group were put together.
    Sam’s great personality, big heart, and big smile made him a lot of fun to be around and contributed to an amazing trip.
    It’s very unfortunate that it took this to reconnect, (I can’t believe it’s been nearly 8 years!) but I want you both to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes and best of luck as you continue on the road to recovery.

    Breanna Caywood

  59. Dominique Worden says:

    I was organizing some photos and found a few special ones of Sam and Erin. I even found one of Sam as far back as Jr. High! I thought I would share them on this site to give just another example of the wonderful, fun and bright person Sam is. I cannot recall a time with Sam that wasn’t a blast, and I am so happy and thankful to read that Sam is improving, because the world needs people like Sam in it. He’s always so positive, and when you’re around him, it’s contagious. He always made me feel like anything was possible, and you can tell by the photos that meant a lot of fun along the way. I would consider myself an old high school buddy of Sam’s and although I have not spoken to him in years, he remains part of some of my fondest memories. Sam your in my prayers and wish nothing but a fast and full recovery.

    These are from Senior Ball 2001

    And this is Sam and Larry on the last day of 8th grade 1998

  60. Dominique Worden says:

    I’m not sure if the photos will post, but I can email them as well or even mail copies if you’d like. I just wanted to share them.

  61. Judy says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say how much I was moved reading about you. My sister has 2 boys that just came back from being gone for a total of 19 months. War is something we all have to live with, if we like it or not. Our family feels so blessed that her boys came back to us safe . They stayed together the whole time away. it made it really hard knowing if one was hurt the other was not far behind, but they always had each other for support. I hope you will know that you will be in my prayers everyday. Thank you for being so brave, we are here for you. Keep getting better & remember there are all kinds of people out here praying for you. God Bless & Peace Judy P.S. My friend works at Kentfield Rehab. You will be in good hands if you find yourself there.

  62. Michael & Edie Shelton says:

    I do not know YOU by name but YOU are in our prayers and constantly in our thoughts. We always pray for the safety and courage of our troops in harms way. Sam you are Amsrica’s hero and I am grateful for your sacrifice to humanity.” No greater love has a man for another, than to lay down his love for another” From way up in Alaska we too touch the hem of our savoir’s garment and ask Christ to comfort and strengthen you as you heal. You are a fine young man. God bless you!!! HE is faithful. In Christ,
    Michael & Edie Shelton… (I will share this all with my husband tomorrow he works way up in Prudhoe Bay and is gone for two weeks at a time. I know his heart will break for you as you recover …we love our military!)

  63. Mark and Christina Eister says:

    Dear Sam and Erin,
    We have been keeping up with the events through the blog- Jenny Colvin sent us a link. Your love for each other is amazing and we believe Sam will pull though. Your self-portrait with the Mickey and Minnie hats made us tear up. It was touching- we hope to see pictures of Sam running around Disneyland one day!!! 🙂 Love from your fellow alumni… -M and C ’01

  64. Michael & Gale Jordan says:

    I hope you are hearing this so often that you get sick of it, but THANK YOU. THANK YOU! You are both in the American Hero Hall of Fame and our family will pray for yours. We are so grateful to your sacrifices.

  65. Trina says:

    Hi Erin,

    Stay strong!! It is great to see pictures of you standing by your husband. My husband is a Marine and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago. I have been by his side 24/7 since the day he was dignosed. I understand all of the stress and pressure that you are going through. Keep up the good work.

  66. Hi Erin and Sam,

    It seems like Sam is making some remarkable progress since we last saw you two at the Palo Alto VA. In reading the other comments on this blog, I would agree that both of you are heroes in our eyes. I think that heroes are not always made by a split second ‘heroic’ decision, but often by continued, day by day decisions to stand strong, have faith, and to rely on hope and love. Sam continues to fight and improve and Erin, you continue to stand by your commitment to him, and fight beside him. When we were with you in the TBI ward (good old 7D) David made a comment that Sam was lucky to have a wife like you, and I would agree. We miss you guys and continue to pray for both of you.

    In Christ’s love,
    Steve (along with Patty and David)

  67. Sam and Erin,
    It has been a blessing to me to have had the opportunity to have fellowship with you on my visits to Palo Alto area to see the men attached to the Wounded Warrior Battalion of Camp Pendleton. Reading God’s word with you on has been just as uplifting for me as I hope it has been for you. Sam, you are already a miracle but you know I trust God for bigger ones yet to come!! What a small world to think that we were in Ramadi, Iraq twice in the same deployments and not only was I your chaplain when your battery was assigned to 2/5 on the 31st MEU but now being assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion, I am your chaplain again. There are too many coincidences not to think that God will have me to continue following you. As you know, my son is an 0811 like you so I respect you immensely. Erin, you are an awesome wife and woman of God! Sam and Erin, I will continue to pray for both of you!! “Chaps” <

  68. courtney budge says:

    I don’t know you guys, but came across this site while researching “best rehab hospitals of tbi”. A great friend of mine’s girlfriend was involved in a biking accident June 6th and had a brain bleed and 2 subsequent strokes. She remains in the hospital in a coma.
    Please hold onto your faith. You have got to believe that God will turn this situation around to your benefit.
    “Have faith in God, Jesus answered”. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, Go throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have recieved it, and it will be yours.
    Mark 11:22-24.
    Don’t be afraid, just believe that God can do miracles.
    God Bless you both.

  69. joy says:

    Dear Sam and Erin,

    You a quickly approaching the anniversary of Sam’s injury. I believe that we should call it a celebration of Sam’s life day. He was spared that day to do wonderous things and I thank God that he was. So on July 24th I will celebrate Sam’s Life Day and remember that God is not done with him or you and that with all the love and prayers coming your way that great things are bound to happen.

    Much love,

    Aunt Joy

  70. Erin says:

    I have the same first and last name of Ein Nichols

  71. Brett Fairbourn says:

    I hadn’t heard about Sam until today. I hope you’re doing better every day, Sam. You and Erin are in my prayers. Thank you so much for your service and ineffable sacrifice. I am so glad you’re alive, and I’m so glad you have Erin. Just from the little bit I read here, and from the pictures, you’re both an inspiration to me. Thank you, and God bless.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I stumbled on this website and my heart was touched. Sam you are in my prayers.
    Sgt Stubbs
    US Army

  73. keith says:

    hey there probably thought i fell off the earth been a very trying year for all of us. Love the pics of Sam and you and I hope you both are doing as well as can be expected.. Sending my LOVE MERRY CHRISTmas and GOD bless your new year with much joy , happiness, and health
    Keith palo alto travel nurse

    by the way i’m back

  74. Juan says:

    Hi there Sam! You are looking great bro. I miss you alot, I’m glad to see that you are making such a great recovery. I always keep you in my mind. May God watch over you and your family.

    “Sgt. Robles”

  75. Hi Erin and Sam,
    I can’t wait for you to be at Palo Alto! David is still there too. We will be up the first week of April to hang out with David and maybe go camping. Are you staying in the Fisher House again? Sam, you look soooo great! Erin, you are amazing! I love how you love Sam too! I know we all do. God bless, Patty

  76. Lenice Smith says:

    Hi Erin & Sam –

    Soon you will be departing from Kentfield Hospital. What an amazing journey it’s been for you Sam. You are truly my American Hero. Thank you for your sacrifice and dedication to this country. I respect and honor.

    Incidentally, this message is to you, Erin. I’ve watched as you and Sam have proceeded down the long hard road of rehabilitation. You are both so young in age but mature and strong in spirit. You have been such the example to me Erin. I’ve watched as you been by Sam’s side and believe me, it’s been amazing. You are all those things a person should be to a spouse patient, kind, loving, compassionate, understanding, supportive and committed. Your strength is immeasurable. Without knowing you have transformed my heart.

    Please know that you and Sam are in our prayers.

    With love,

    Lenice Smith

  77. Glenn Ford, Advocate for People and Families Living with Brain Injury says:

    Hi Sam & Erin,

    As a person living with a Brain Injury (and yes, many other ‘disorders’) you two are in my heart and voice. Hope is what we live for and I ‘see’ in both of your eyes that hope for the future.

    Be still now
    It is a beautiful day…

    As you journey through life,
    choose your destination well,
    but do not hurry there.
    You will arrive soon enough.
    Wander the back roads and forgotten paths,
    keeping your destination in your heart
    like the fixed point of a compass.

    Seek out new voices, strange sights,
    and ideas foreign to your own.
    Such things are riches for the soul.
    And if upon arrival,
    you find that your destination
    is not exactly as you had dreamed,
    do not be disappointed.

    Think of all you would have missed
    but for the journey there,
    and know that the true worth
    of your travels lies not in where
    you come to be at journey’s end,
    but in who you came to be
    along the way.

    Bless you guys, Glenn

  78. Anonymous says:

    Found your site searching for Marine quotes. Thank you for your labor of love, and sharing it to others to witness and pass on. What’s the latest on Sam?

  79. Brian Bracher says:

    Hi Sam and Erin,
    Greetings from the UK.You are both in my prayers and I know with Gods will you will be both go from strength to strength. We have all been blessed by the love and dedication you both show to each other.

  80. Lcpl Alex Myers says:

    I just stumbled across this while googling casa roble. Im not sure if yall remember me from rotc but I remember you, especially sam. He was and clearly still is a strong person with grace of heart some never even get to see. I recall the rotc ball in 2000 when he straightened my tie, actually. I am sorry to just find out like this and although we werent very close I want you to know I’ll think about you Sam. Oorah, buddy.

  81. Sam and Erin

    Please know that from all of us at Steel Anchor, we send you our hearts and prayers for a speedy recovery and a long wonderful life to you both.

    Sam you are our brother and we are all extremely Proud of you. Keep the faith, never quit. There are way too many of us in your corner for you not to win.

    We all wish you both a fantastic New Year,

    Steel Anchor
    Taking Care Of Our Own, From The Sea To The Road

  82. kristen says:

    i just stumbled across this website, and wanted to say I am deeply touched. my thought and prayers are with you SGT Sam and Erin as well as your families.

    ❤ kristen

  83. Bill Mason says:

    Sam and Erin
    My Payers go out to both of you, My son has done 4 tours to Iraq and came back safe. so please Sam keep on progressing well and I really would like to shake your hand and give you a hug and say welcome home we in the Mason Family are keeping you both in our prayers.

    William J. Mason
    Former Sgt. U.S. ARMY

  84. Kaisa Bailey (Thomson) says:

    I just stumbled across this page while doing 10 yr high school reunion research…..I had no idea you two were dealing with a trial like this. I hope you know you will also be in my prayers.

  85. Joe Capp says:

    It’s been almost 5 years since Sgt Nichols’ injury. I was the battalion surgeon with his unit in Iraq, TFMP. I think of him, Cpl McCrae, Cpl Zindars, LCpl Lynch and HN Noble. I hope that this finds Sgt Nichols and his family in good health. Semper Fidelis.

  86. Betsy Rosen says:

    Hi, Sam and Erin!
    Rereading these comments and seeing your picture again just makes me remember how much I love you both. Happy Fourth of July!



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