Back in November of 2008 I read a heartwarming story in the Sacramento Bee of the homecoming of Army Spc. Trevor Hogue who made it back home to Granite Bay California from the Middle East. All of Trevor’s family came to the Sacramento Airport to greet him and all were very excited to be there to greet him. The article mentioned an older gentleman who, out of the blue, came up to thank Trevor for his service to our country. I remember the article brought tears to my eyes.
Trevor had just come back from spending 15 months in Baghdad and part of his assignment included driving a Humvee through the most dangerous part of the city. Although Trevor came back from Iraq uninjured, he witnessed unthinkable horror when half of his platoon was blown up before his very eyes. On June 11th, Trevor took own his life. He was 24 years old. Because Trevor’s death occurred after his discharge, his death is not included in the statistics for those killed in the war in Iraq. Our hearts and prayers are with the Hogue family.
1.65 million U.S. service members have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. More than 35,000 service members have been physically wounded. It is estimated that more than 320,000 have sustained traumatic brain injuries and more than 300,000 have psychological wounds.
I don’t know about you, but when I walk down the street, I don’t see our injured service members. Where is the guy with TBI or the guy with PTSD? But you know what?…they are out there and they need our support! Bob Woodruff of ABC’s "World News Tonight" and his wife Lee have taken on the challenge of reminding us that it is our job as American’s to take action in supporting our wounded warriors. At their website remind.org , the banner reads “Support Our Troops” is no longer a slogan. It’s an action. They are trying to raise 1.65 million dollars, a goal which symbolizes 1 dollar for every soldier who has served since 9/11. Their goal is to raise the money by July 4th Independence Day. Won’t you TAKE ACTION in supporting our injured service members?
From Lee Woodruff:
”Remember, no matter what you think about the war, this is about the warrior. It is about showing gratitude to the soldiers who left to serve and need help now that they are home. And it is about how we can come together as citizens, as neighbors, as a community and as a nation. The people who selflessly served are asking for our help, and helping is easier than ever.”
Returning to Normal Life:
Before you read Eric’s (Sam’s dad) update on Sam, which he emailed to me a few days ago, I wanted to give you some up-to-the-minute news about Sam. This morning at about 5:45AM we received a text message from Erin saying that Sam was being transported by ambulance from CareMeridian in Granite Bay to Sutter Roseville Emergency because he had a temperature of 105. It’s about 8PM now and Sam has been admitted to the hospital for observation over the weekend. He has a UTI that may have gone into his kidneys and possibly a mild case of pneumonia. His temperature was back down to normal about noon, and he seems to be doing well, but please pray for him. PS: the hospital staff at Sutter Roseville have been reminded by my wife Julie (over and over again) that they are taking care of a war hero…they have been wonderful to Sam and Julie said they are treating him like gold! 🙂
Tony (Erin’s dad)
Sam’s journey thus far would not have been possible without God working through Erin. I’ve reported her drive and perseverance many times in my updates, and I know you can guess how we all feel about Erin. The love she shows my son is so moving, and motivational. Her desire is that Sam re-enter life, no matter what that looks like right now. Sam got to see his first movie at the local theatre this last Wednesday, accompanied by Erin of course, Donny, & Brandi. A wheel chair van was ordered at the appropriate time, delivered Sam to the theatre, and picked them up after for return to Care Meridian. No sushi bar yet, (one of Sam’s favorites) but that is coming. They saw Star Trek, and Sam seemed to enjoy himself. He didn’t remember the movie a few days later, but that is coming too…Friday he went to Supercuts to visit a friend that has cut his hair, (and the rest of us as well) for many years. See the picture taken last Saturday of his regulation haircut. He’s looking really sharp! One of his next outings will be a trip to my house with his brothers and family in attendance. He grew up here and it should be very familiar for him. Erin continues to challenge him with conversation, questions, and trivia. She was telling him about the national spelling bee that she had watched, and he asked, "What was the championship word?" Sam has always been an outstanding speller, so Erin asked him to spell some of the words that the top 5 contestants went down spelling. To our amazement he spelled most of them with 100% accuracy. The shot of him getting to eat a dum-dum sucker in conjunction with speech therapy, is very exciting. He hasn’t been able to eat anything except by tube for the last 23 months. Erin said he loved the lollypop and I’m sure that eating will be just around the corner as well.
God Bless you all for your continued prayers on their behalf; for the notes of encouragement, the visits, and the interest in their progress. You are all an inspiration to me and the entire Nichols’ and Neria families…