New GI Bill Signed Into Law

July 1, 2008

Today, President Bush signed into law, the new GI Bill.  The new World War II-style GI Bill for America’s Iraq and Afghanistan veterans ensures the men and women who volunteered to serve their country during this time of war will get the educational benefits they deserve.

The new GI Bill which was sponsored by Senators Webb, Hagel, Warner and Lautenberg increases the educational benefits for members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001.  It provides for the cost of tuition, enrollment fees for state public colleges and includes a monthly housing allowance and $1,000 per year for books and supplies.  The GI Bill is also transferable to the family members of servicemember’s who serve at least ten years in the military.

Complete information on the new GI Bill can be found at www.GIBill2008.org.

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

Good Morning All,

My visit yesterday [6/27/2008] found Sam quite groggy, but probably feeling no pain. I mentioned last time that his doctor was experimenting with the reverse affects of the tranquilizers to his responsive state. He was getting Valium, which they also decided to discontinue yesterday for another derivative of Valium to which he has had more success. He didn’t feel like talking and said so quite plainly. He was totally with us and would answer all questions put to him. Just because he was relaxing didn’t mean he wouldn’t be subjected to Erin’s constant stimulation and endless challenges. It is amazing to me where she comes up with all that she does. She asks him questions about their life before the incident, what he looks forward to, and asks him to comment on current events. Yesterday she was throwing him algebraic equations in word form. If 2x = 4, then what is the value of x? If 18 over 6 = x; well you get the idea. He handles them perfectly. Their 5 year anniversary is approaching and she asks him to recount how many…(a question he has gotten wrong in the past)…but not this time…He flashes all 5 fingers…his memory is getting stronger. Erin asks him to do many small tasks that he can do for himself; like wash his face, brush his hair and teeth, put on and take off his surgical mask when going out of the room…(he has to wear one because technically he is still carrying that bacteria that Erin Relaxes_6_27_08_kentfield causes his infections)…Yes small tasks, but huge milestones to a TBI patient…One day last week he even shaved himself a few
strokes…AWESOME!!! One of my continuing prayers is that God strengthens Erin to continue to push him in the right directions…all this is done with the motivation of kisses and hugs, positive verbal motivation, and just pure love…tough love in the sense that it just doesn’t end…Thank You Lord, for Erin….See the picture of Erin in Sam’s bed; isn’t she cute? Sam was up in his chair when I arrived at 10am and didn’t go back to bed until about 4 or so…Erin rotates his position every half hour or so to relieve any pressure he may be experiencing…

When I was ready to leave and fight the Friday night traffic back to Sacramento; I leaned in to hug Sam, kiss him, and tell him how much I love him…While I was still hugging him I heard Erin say “Aaaahhhh….did you see that?” I backed up a step or two to see what she was talking about and he was placing his hand over his heart and then pointing his index finger at me, to return hand over heart_6_27_08_kentfieldthe I love you….He did it three times, as he wanted to be certain I was getting the message. Oh my goodness gracious; he melted me right there on the spot. Yeah, a big emotional pool right there in his room. He held it long enough for me to get my phone out and snap a quick picture for you all to see. The pure sweetness of this kid knows no depths. He touches me every time I visit. Visitation of the sick is supposed to be for their benefit; how come I always feel better? God’s grace is the only answer…

As I drive home I contemplate the sacrifices of so many parents of the past…starting with Father Abraham that was asked to kill his only son because God had asked it of him…we know that God never intended to take his son, but if he had refused; well we would have missed out on the covenant God established with us. I am so glad I wasn’t the one on which all that depended; I, like most other people love my sons dearly…Then I think of God himself putting his only son through a living hell and eventual death for us…that kind of love cannot be comprehended; just enjoyed…and finally I think of all the parents that have lost their sons and daughters as they defend this great nation from all enemies…whether we agree with the premise of this war or not, I simply ask God for his protection of all our young men and women in harms way….

With much love,
Eric