Sunday, November 2, 2008

Second day with Rob

I just came from being with Rob. I have a few updates. First of all, Rob looks so much better than he did yesterday. His face was not nearly as swollen. He also had a smaller c-collar on so I could actually see his face better. It was so good to get a better look at that handsome face. He has stitches on his left eyebrow and stitches on his chin right below his lower lip. Besides that, his face looks great. Also, he was scheduled to fly to the states today. We had our bags on the bird (me, Barb, and my mom are able to fly with Rob) and the flight team in the room. However, we knew there was a chance that he may not go today. Yesterday his lactic acid level was high. They wanted to monitor him during the night and redraw the lab today. When they got the results, the levels had risen some more. They would like the levels to be less than 2 and his today was 6.5. They are not for sure what is causing this so they are taking him back to surgery today. Basically, something inside of him is not getting perfused adequately. If this goes on untreated, it could become life threatening. So, they are going to go in and look in his abdomen and leg wounds again to see if there is a possible infection or perfusion problem and take care of it as needed. The next flight to the states will be on Tuesday. So, depending on how he does between now and then will determine if we fly Tuesday. The other update is really quite exciting. They told us this morning that he had been quiet during the night and did not move. However, when I walked into the room and started talking to him, you could see his eyes moving behind his lids and he started moving his shoulders!!!! I couldn't believe it! I talked to him about the girls and he would move them even more. He even had tears coming from his eyes when Barb and I spoke to him. I asked him to squeeze my fingers and he would ever so slightly. The neuro dr came in and examined him and said that with everything he's been through, things are just going to take time. I told him to try to open his eyes. You could see him moving his shoulders up and down like he was trying to get them to open. You can only imagine how heavy is eyes are. They did have to sedate him a little when they thought we were flying, so he did go back to sleep for awhile. But right before we left him so he could go to surgery, I started rubbing his cheeks and forehead with my fingers and he again fluttered his eyes and moved his shoulders! This is such exciting news. I know it's baby steps but anything positive like this is HIGHLY encouraging! So, please keep praying that they will find what's causing his levels to be high and be able to fix the problem and that his neuro status continues to improve. God is good and He will provide. I will update again after surgery.


Chaotic Mom said...

Oh, Dena. I've made your blog my homepage. I just got up this morning to read your report. I'm not a very emotional person, but have become quite a crybaby this past week. This time the tears were because it was so awesome to hear how he responded with you today! Dena, it is so wonderful that the three of you are there with him, and in such a good place where they are taking care of him AND you together.

I also wanted to tell you that the pictures you have on your blog header are so special, too. My favorite, though, is your family photo.

What good news, that the three of you will be able to come back with him, too. I didn't know how that worked out, but it was good to read that this morning.

As always, thank you so much for posting. You have a special way of expressing yourself, and write very well.

God be with you and Rob, Dena. There's some extra Texasized (learned that word at DQ last night) prayers coming your way!


Anonymous said...

Found your site via Chuck Z at TCOverride.

God bless you, your husband, and your family. You're all in my thoughts and prayers.


Haole Wahine said...

There are TEXASized prayers for all of you, and we just keep praying them.

Today, they will be TEXASized prayers combined with songs of praise and thanksgiving.

Yes, God we love baby steps.

It's not just TEXAS praying for you, you're surrounded with prayers and love from your whole community of old and new friends.

The Bender's said...

Dena that is such AWESOME news! Rob is such a fighter and is making his way back to you, the girls, and your families! GO ROB, we are surrounding you with our prayers, love, and gratitude for the unselfish service you have provided our country. You keep-on fighting because they are lots of people loving on you and praying for the time you can look into your Dena's, your Rock's warm and loving eyes. As well as your Mom and Barb and many more that will want to smother you in our love! Many prayers heading your way for your next surgery and your flight back to the States!
We love you all, Craig and Karen

Leta said...

Dena I check your blog throughout the day to find out how you and Rob are doing. You've got prayers from Tennessee. I also think about you and Rob many times each day.

Your strength and faith are inspiring. Your committment to Rob and his needs are equally as inspiring. Don't forget to take care of you during the times you cannot be with Rob.

Daine Brodbeck said...

Dena, I got up early this morning to check if there was an update on Rob. I cried as I read what you wrote to Marty. Rob and Dena keep strong and know that we love you and are praying for you everyday. I know they are taking the very best care of him as you are.

Barb, I think often of you too and am praying for you.

Thank you so much for these posting, Dena. It is so special to have these updates.

We send our love to all of you.
Diane & Marty

Christy and Brian McGarry said...

Oh Dena - your post brought tears to my eyes - I'm so glad that he's responding to you. It's baby steps but it's amazing!
I hope and pray that the surgery goes well today and that they figure out the problem.
Thank you for keeping us updated.
God bless.

Kris said...


Our family's prayers are constantly with you and Rob and the rest of your family. I'm thrilled beyond words that Rob is responding to your voice! How incredible and emotional and fantastic! Your strength and faith will see you through.

Kris Mahurin and family

timandjule said...

Dena, I'm so so gald you are finally with him. Tears are just streaming down my face after reading how he responded to your presence. Keep holding his hand and talking to're the best medicine he'll ever have.

The Knapps said...

I am so excited to hear that Rob is responding to you! That is so wonderful. You are such an inspiration to all of us. Your strength and positive attitude are truly amazing! Know that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. We check your blog many times a day, so thank you for the continued updates. We will focus our prayers now on fixing the problems with his levels. God bless you!
The Knapps

Aunt Nancy said...

Dena, I have jumped on the computer as soon as my feet hit the floor! This all sounds like great news. (less swelling, and his responding to your voices)
We will be praying hard for the doctors to find what is causing the lactic acid levels to be high...and, continue to pray for improvements!
Dena, a person can EAT a WHOLE elephant but, it takes one bite at a time. This is an Elephant,,,but, Keep the FAITH! (I am going to ask and profess that those levels go back down today and he will be on the Tuesday Plane)
Tell Bev and Barb that I am thinking about both of them too!
xoxoxox Love you to pieces...Aunt Nancy and Uncle Steve

Anonymous said...

this is great news! Rob is strong and fighting, and we are praying for him.
Thanks for the update.

Household6 said...

I'm crying happy tears for you! How encouraging!


Ethan said...

Dear mister Rob,

I am sad that you can't go to my birthday today. I want you to know that I am 6 today and I hope you have a great trip and I hope that you feel better too.

Ethan Spencer

Tim and Kim Decker said...

I am so happy for you! It is very encouraging that he is responding to your voice and touch like that. Chalk this up to another day of healing and recovery. Hang in there and help take care of one very special person. We are sending our love and prayers your way!

Tim and Kim

Nate Schott said...

Dena, just wanted to let you know that we are proud of you, keep up the good work. You can tell Rob he didn't miss much of a Husker game last night. We are just going to pretend it never happened. Hang in there and get him home safe.
Tator (Rob's cousin Nate)

Don Whiffen said...

Rob and Dena,
This is great news! When Rob is well enough you can bet I will be coming to see you and we will have a beer together! Then we can take a trip to the lake, just like back in Kansas.

Thank you for keeping us all up to date. Dena, you are a special woman and one powerful force.

Please tell Rob his old buddies from Fort Riley are rooting for him.

--Don Whiffen

Margaret said...

We are praying for you. We pray especially for your children during this separation. May God surround you all with His protection and love and I pray that Rob will sense His presence during this time of healing.

The Bundicks
Hampton, VA

Liz said...

So glad to read some good news!! You all have been in my prayers. Joe wants to send his best wishes as well. Continuing to pray. God bless.

the Konken's said...

Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family. I worked with Rob in Kansas. As a fellow Husker fan he would relay the scores through the radio to me as I was out on patrol in Iraq. Of course then as any true fans we would sit around and “analyze” the game when I returned. From what I gathered about his personality then is that he is a fighter and will not let something keep him down for long. I thank you for the blog. It enables us are able to keep current on his condition. I pray for your safe return to the States and God speed on the recovery.

Logan Bender said...

Hi, Dena! Well it has been a long time since you first came to meet me with my Mommy, but I remember how sweet and loving you and Julia were to me and knew I found my home. Mommy has told me about Mister Rob and how strong you have been once again. Please pass along huggies to Julia and tell her we are praying that her and her Daddy are together soon too. Zach is sending his huggies too, they are especially good and special ones since I taught him myself! We pray at each meal and my bedtime prayers for all of you.

Lots of huggies for you, Rob, Julia, and Eva coming your way!

Karen said...

It's so encouraging to hear that Rob is fluttering his eyelids and moving his shoulders! It must be so good for him to hear your voice and know that you are by his side. I will continue to pray for Rob, as well as the medical team working on him.

Thank you for all the updates. Remember to try to take care of yourself as well, as much as you can. Rest and eat something other than donuts! :)
K. Marshall

Anonymous said...

That is such awesome news - we can't wait to hear your next update! GOD IS GOOD.
Julie & James McGahey

angie said...

Dena, this is wonderful news as God is definately with you. Stay strong as everything will work out like they're supposed to. The girl's are doing good. We went out and got a bunk bed for Julia and Peyton to sleep in. They are SO excited. Seth, Julia and I went over to Aaron and Shelley's house last night and had a ball. Angie and Eva stayed home with Peyton as Peyton was sick. We are praying for you.
Love, Layne, Angie and kids.

Alyssa Romshek said...

Hi Dena, i just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you, the girls, and rob. Its great he is responding to you and i will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Donna said...

What good news! Remember God only gives us what we can handle. I am still praying for your family. Just remember you always have our support.

Donna W

Bender Bunch said...

Rob, you're one of the toughest guys I know. If anyone can come through this like a champ its you. You can only imagine the number of prayers and thoughts that have been sent your way. Stay strong.

Dena and family, hang in there. You've been a rock thus far, and Rob will need that. I know you're probably used to Rob filling that roll, but he needs you more than ever, and I'm extremely proud of you with how you've been through this. If you or any of your family need ANYTHING, you know you can call us. Please do when you need or want to at any hour.

You have our thoughts and prayers and whatever else you need.
Craig and the Bender bunch

krueth said...

I was so happy to see that Rob is responding to you, I had tears as I read that. Praying that the Dr.s will find the problem so he can fly "home" Tuesday. Wendy

Pam said...

We crawl before we stand, we walk before we run...the journey is long and filled with so many challenges, but it sounds as though you and Rob and all of your family are taking piece by piece moment by moment, and the news is much love has to fill the room and reach Rob even as he rests to are amazing and strong and will make such a difference for your family day by day...
Stay well, we will be waiting for y'all...

The Gisslers said...

That is so great that he is starting to respond to you. I am sure that having you, Bev and Barb there with him will really help. Tell him that we are all thinking and praying for him to get better.
Aaron, Shelly and Megan

K said...


We are thinking about you and keeping you in our prayers. Glad to hear what a good day today was

With Love,
Kara and Michael Gensert (formerly of 1-13AR)

Chris said...

Thinking of you! Great news that Rob is responding to you! Praying in Northwest Indiana!

GaTankMom said...

Praying hard and often for Rob. I'm so glad that you and your mom and Rob's mom are there with him. Stay strong. We all saw through Ryan Kules experiences that so much is possible in medicine now a days and that prayer really does work. You and Rob are loved and cared about by so many people.

My son Christopher Strozier was in 1-13 AR out of Riley back in 2003 when they were in Iraq the first time. He is stationed in Germany now. Chris was in B company and I don't know if he knew Rob but I will let him know about this web site. I found out about it through the Kules web site.

I'll watch this site for more good news and I won't stop praying.

The Sullivan's said...

Hey Dena, I'm am so excited he is responding to you. That's awesome. I just know the doctors will figure out what the problem is and fix it so you can be on your way back to the U.S. with him. Thoughts and prayers, Love Alayna Ryan and Gavin

Helgoth said...

Dena, Awesome news!!!!! Rob is a true fighter. Read Layne and Angie's comment, sounds like the girls are doing good. That's great!!! You have a couple awesome brothers. Take care!! Pam

Michael & Hanna Crowder said...

It is amazing that Rob is responding to you, Dena! How encouraging! I pray that in surgery today the doctors figure out what is causing his levels to be elevated and that they can fix whatever it is, so you all can come back home TOGETHER! Your girls are also in my prayers, as I know that this separation is hard on each of you. But you are where you need to be, and I praise God that Rob is able to show you that he knows you're there!
All our love and prayers are being sent your way...
Michael and Hanna

Melissa said...

I wake up every morning anxious to read the latest. I was so happy to hear the good report. You are right it will take baby steps, but those baby steps are huge! We are thinking about you guys night and day.
Lots of love and prayers,

Anonymous said...

Such encouraging signs - baby steps are huge at this point! Know the love and prayers are constant from Osceola. The messages from this blog help us all. Thank you


Michelle said...

I am sitting here crying tears of joy for you both!! You had said Rob's biggest fear was being a vegetable. Now we know that is not the case. He knows you are all there even if he can't respond.

Now I will focus my prayers on another successful surgery so he can get adequate perfussion to his muscles.

He needs to fly home TOMORROW!!! Hang in there...good things are going to start happening.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for updating the blog; like so many others we are checking it often and have your family in our thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work, we are so relieved to hear of Rob's progress.
Deep breathes and hugs,
Randall & Trisha in Arizona

Kuhlman said...

Dena,I just read all your updates(uncle wes told me the website) and can't believe what you all have been through. You being there is going to be the best medicine for Rob. Sounds like things are getting better and better each day.  Hopefully they figure out what's going on and he can get back to the states. We are all thinking of you lots and lots. Take care, Dena!  Kasey

Kim Decker said...


I just went through a bunch of pictures to send over to Nancy for your blog. Looking through the piles and piles of pictures that we have with you guys, it reminds me of couple things: Life is precious. Surround yourself with those you love and those who make you happy, and never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them. I feel that the time we have been able to spend with you and Rob are absolutely precious and a gift from God. It is a gift to have friends and relationships as close as the ones we have shared with you, Rob, Ryan and Nancy. Our friendships have definitely been galvanized by difficult circumstances, but I am grateful for every moment we have spent and every moment to come, no matter what happens.

We are praying for you and Rob and look forward to some more good news.


conne pat said...

Praying for Bert. Hope you are fine. I am Barbs friend from Nebr. Connie Pat. Tell them i am praying for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Dena and Family
What an exciting update! That had to be a wonderful feeling when he responded to you. Dena I admire how positive you are!! We will continue to pray for Rob and your family. Stay positive and "BELIEVE".

Ryan, Nataly & Taylin Sanley

Anonymous said...

Dena-I don't think we've ever met, but my husband deployed with Rob to OIF I from Fort Riley. We got your blog link from Jason Pape. You epitomize the strength of a military wife and I am so impressed by your courage and faith. Allow yourself to breakdown when you need to and know that you have an Army of Wives praying for you and your family!
Kim and Jeff Jablonski

Anonymous said...

Dear Yllescas family,
We are also praying for you all! We are so happy with all of the improvements. Keep it up Rob! Stay strong Dena. We wish the best for you all. You do a rebarkable job of keeping everyone posted on this blog. We thank you for keeping us posted. Good luck on your way back to the States. Thinking of you and praying for you.

laura said...

I received this email from Nancy Kules. I was Ryan's physical therapist at Walter
Reed. Hang tough, girl. Day by day. The body is an AMAZING machine. Ryan's progress was unbelievable. You would never know where he started from when he was first injured to where he is now. It sounds like Rob is breaking through to begin the journey of rehab. I can assure you he will be in excellent hands at Walter Reed and they will take good care of him. I can only imagine Ryan surrounding himself in the military with good people who work hard....if Rob is in Ryan's circle, I am sure he is a hard worker, as well and that will play into his rehab with results. I am sending you lots of strength and good positive energy your way. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if you will remember me or my family. I am good friends with Aaron. We live in Manhattan and one summer day about 2 years ago my family and I (Brandon, Dawn, Haylee, & Nik) went to Milford lake to ski with you and Rob, Aaron, Shelly and Megan.

It was a very fun day and it was wonderful to meet you and Rob. Thank you again for your hospitality that day.

Aaron has been keeping me up to date via phone calls and gave me this site. My wife and I have been reading it quite often and have not left any comments, until now.

Our hearts are prayers go out to you, Rob, your girls, and all of your family members.

Hang in there, keep your head up, and in no time you all will be back on the boat before you know it. God will only give you enough to handle at one time so hang in there and KNOW, things are getting better day by day. Take care. We are thinking of you, Rob, and your girls.

Grubbs Family
Manhattan, KS.

Jaime Pachta said...

Hi Dena,
Great news! Every step forward to his recovory is BIG, no matter how small the steps may seem. We continue to pray for you and your family. Our kids, before bed last night, said a prayer for Rob and all of the other soldiers serving our country. This experience with Rob has made many people realize how short and fragile life really is. It isn't the material things that matter in's FAMILY. Keep telling him stories about the girls, that is the best medicine and therapy for him that no doctor can prescribe. We will keep the prayers coming his way! Hang tough! We hope you get to come back to the States soon. :-) Dan, Jaime, Ashley, Nicolas, & Mitchell

Lisa J. said...

Hi Dena -- This is your dad's cousin, Lisa (Berggren) Joner. Your Aunt Joyce sent out an email telling extended family about Rob's injuries. We are grateful that Rob is responding to treatment. He sounds like a strong, brave man, and with so much love he will surely be motivated to fight for recovery. Our family will be praying for yours!

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Julie's in NH and since receiving the link to this Blog on Friday I have surrounded Rob and his family with my healing thoughts and prayer. There is a definite spiritual power in as many people as possible focusing on healing so I am sharing this with colleagues, family and friends so those of us in the States continue to remember to surround our troops and in this moment Rob and his family with a strong circle of protective and healing spiritual power.

Faith Jordan said...

Love and prayers and tears of JOY from Osceola.
Donna Mentink

Andy Boston said...

Dena - Thank you for the updates. You guys are in our thoughts.

Andy Boston

Driggers4Ship said...

God Bless you and keep you, I pray for your strength and comfort and God's healing touch.
Janet Driggers (friend of a friend of a friend...)

Joyce Winfield said...


Your Dad called today after he had talked with your Mom. He shared good news about Rob. I have e-mailed all of your Dad's cousins, so the Gissler clan will surround you with collective arms. People in Fremont, Nebraska, send their prayers and love. I'm telling EVERYONE about Rob, you, Julia and Eva. After reading your latest entry, the tears I shed now are those of joy. Praise the Lord for Rob's response to your voice and touch. We love you, Rob and your precious girls so much.

Much love,
Aunt Joyce and Uncle Doug

Bona said...

Hi Dena! I read you blog. Very touching. I'm so glad you're there by his side. The love from you and your kids are what makes his strength stronger. My prayers are with Rob and your family.

joycurry said...

You don't know me, but your Aunt Nancy R. is a Mary Kay director friend of mine. Thank you for your entries - I will continue to check this site and to pray for your family. Thank God that you have your faith. Remember that He is able!
-Joy Curry

Ina said...

Dear Dena,
Nancy told me what happened. I am so sorry and hope everything will turn out well. I hope you can take him home soon, but if you should have to stay in Germany longer than planned and there is anything I can do, I could come down to Landshut. You'd just have to tell Nancy.
I just heard that you had another baby. And her name is my middle name. I cannot wait to meet her when you are all well and at home again, which will be very soon I hope. I am sure Julia will be fine at Angie's. She is such a cute, lively, sweet little girl though she is not even that little anymore.

I am sending you all my best wishes and hope Rob is recovering speedily. Lots of love, Ina

Lodmell House said...

I'm happy to hear! Praying for his levels and more positive signs!

Paige Tyler said...

Hey Dena and Rob

I mentioned you in church today so that we could lift you up in prayer and Jadyn did the same thing. There is another couple hundred of people who will hold you close to their hearts in the weeks and months to come.

Ali and I will clean your house tomorrow and the trash did make it out to the curb. We will make sure everything sparkles. Jadyn also has a letter ready for Julia. I will find Angie's address and send it.

Middle sister said...

Dear Dena & family
My niece is Jenny Mentink & Donna is my sister. Our son-in-law was critically injured on Sept. 3rd in a work accident: he was buried alive and is paralyzed from the waist down. I know what a horrible roller coaster ride you are on:seems like one problem is solved and another shows up. I was showing your pictures to his children Abbey 6 & Luke 3--Luke said their Daddy will have to go to Denver and get better with my Daddy--Shane is in the Craig Institute for his rehab. Our hearts are breaking for you and we are praying so hard for the strength you need to handle this. Love always Lisa Schmidt

Mollie Borders said...

Hi. I am a friend of Nancy and Ryan Kules. My husband was injured in Iraq (he's an amputee as well) a couple of months after Ryan was hit. We are still here at Walter Reed. I am writing for several reasons... First, you will remain in our prayers. Second, if you need ANYTHING while you're here, don't hesitate to ask. Third, I have a 14 year old daughter and a 4 year old son and would be happy to help out with the girls if you need me. Nancy knows all my contact information so feel free to ask for it. Don't forget to take care of yourself because you won't do your husband any good if you're a disaster. I know it's very difficult, but try to get some sleep and make sure you're eating. Keep your strenth up, you're going to need it. Know that you'll be surrounded by people that are here to help you - take their help. Listen to Nancy. She's blunt and honest and won't ever lead you in the wrong direction. I'm here if you need me. Mollie Borders

J.Frazier said...

Soldiers' Angels has a liason at the hospital in Germany. If you need anything please get in touch with them. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Wild Thing said...

Hi Dena, we don't know each other and yet we do. We both love America and our troops and you love a very special one that I just want you to know how many of us out here are praying for both your husband and for you and your family too.
My husband is a Navy Veteran and he too is praying.

Coca said...

Hi Rob! We love you man, and we are praying for you. Dena, thank you for keeping us posted. I do believe Rob feels you, hears you and knows your with him. Please let him know that many people love him and are praying for him. Oscar Scheel and family.

Kim said...

That is great news, he does know that you are with him and I am sure that is helping get throught this. He is a fighter and you will all get through this eventhough it is a challange. We are thinking and praying for you.

Dave, Kim (Carlson), Morgan and Makenzie Merrill

Bree Loggins (wife of SFC Loggins) said...

We are ecstatic that Rob is making progress! The girls and I have been praying and checking for updates continuously throughout the week. Now we just keep his page open on the computer all of the time. We don’t want to miss any of your amazing updates. Thank you so much for your blogs, we feel as though we are right there by your side. Know that even if we can’t be there physically, we are there with you in our hearts and prayers. I hope you and Rob can feel our arms and God’s wrapping around you.
We will continue to pray for Rob’s progress, and for your amazing strength. We are looking forward to you making your way home to the States with your hero. Every little sign is truly an answered prayer, and God has lots more coming your way!
The Loggins Family

Anonymous said...

Debbie & Caroline said...

Dena - Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Glad to hear that things are improving. We will keep on checking for updates. Take care and have a safe trip back to the U.S.

Anonymous said...

So great to hear he is doing better. My son is with the 6-4 CAV,A Troop.You and your family are in my prayers. Many hugs to you and yours

Deborah Anderson said...

Hi Dena, It's "Mrs. Anderson". You are very strong and I am so proud of the way you are handling all of this. Your blog is a wonderful way of keeping all of us in Osceola posted on Rob's condition. Lori, Macy, and Anna have been keeping me updated as well. Remember that God is in control and you are in the driver's seat! You are so right in saying that He won't give us anymore than we can handle. I am keeping ALL of you in my prayers. Give Barb and your mom a hug for me! Rob (BERT) holds a special place in my heart...when he and Chris were little they came to my house for "tutoring." Not that they needed it, but their mother thought they did! And I so enjoyed teaching them! God Bless ALL of you and may He keep you in His care. Love, Deborah Anderson

Katy said...

Dena - Hi. I'm friends with Nancy and Ryan. My brother (Neil) lost both his legs from an IED in Afghanistan shortly after Ryan was injured. And so we got to know them very well.

Rob, you, and your family are in our thoughts. You guys will get through this!! It's just slow babysteps at first. And every little improvement counts. I'm so glad he has you and other family there with him.

I know you said Rob's jaw is wired shut and he has a trach. One thing that made a big difference with Neil (he had the same situation) is that we got a small dry erase board. Once Neil was conscious, it really helped him communicate since he couldn't talk. Not sure if that would help Rob at all, but thought I would throw that out there for you.

Take care!
Katy Davenport

Greene Family said...

Dena - We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers and thank your husband for his service. - Cara and Dave Greene (friends of Nancy and Ryan Kules) Bowie, MD

Allison said...

Dear Dena,
We are friends of David and Lauren DeFelice. Please know that we are praying for Rob and your family.

Allison and Greg Campion

Anonymous said...

Our Family in Kevil, KY is praying for you and your family! God is with you!

Anonymous said...

Godspeed to Rob, you Dena, and your whole family. I just found out the information on Rob from Chrissie who has her own blog: "Theodore's World" Chrissie is a friend to all veterans and those of us from the Vietnam generation are most appreciative of her friendship then and now to today's heroes. I understand Rob's trauma and the effect on all who love him. Our prayers will be forthcoming to all of you.
Dave Pearsall
"Dustoff 22"

Anonymous said...

Dear Dena,
I am so sorry to hear of your tragedy. I heard of Rob's accident at church today with a prayer request on your families behalf. I want you to know you and your family are heavy on my heart. I will be praying constantly.. if there's anything I can do, please let me know. I am prayful that your trip home will be uneventful. You sound amazing in your letters. I know that your family is going to pull through this and God is going to bless you and give you the strength you need. My love goes to you and your family.
Love, Terri Morales

YvonneK said...

You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for the updates. You have always been good with that. My son is 6-4 CAV HHT. He started in B Troop and transferred to HHT. You have always been special to me since they deployed, because you always answered any question I had even though we had never met.
Your strength is what keeps Rob in the fight. Remember God is good and always there.
Yvonne Kruser

Rodriguez said...

Dena, I'm so sorry to hear the news. It has me in tears to know that this had to happen. Thank you for updating us on Rob's progress. Josh, Eva and I are all glad to hear that he is in good hands and is responding to your voice. I don't know how you do it, but, I admire you for being such a strong woman at a time like this. Keep hanging in there! Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. We are thinking of you everyday.

- Michelle, Josh and Eva Rodriguez
HHT, 6-4 Cav

Trish said...

Dena, God bless you, Rob and your family - we are praying for you - I know you'll get through this, and will have a wonderful story to tell us all once you are at the end of this journey - and then, you'll be amazed at how fast the time flew!! Hugs and Love sent to you from Georgia,
Trish Benefield
Georgia Representative for
The Silver Star Families of America
I'd be 'so' honored to sponsor a Silver Star Banner & Certificate for Rob - just contact me at!! Take care of you, as well!!

Carol said...

Hi Dena and Rob you might not know me. But I'm your moms cousin. When your grandma Faye called my parents my mom called me on my way to work. I cry and prayed at the same time asking God to take you all in is hands.I know all we can do for you is to pray. I finially was able to get into the internet and had this site sent to me from Nancy. I will check on this site to see the updates.Please give your moma hugh from me and tell her that I love her. My love to all of you. God bless Love Carol

Joe and Ashley Grady said...

We are so glad to hear that you finally got to see Rob (one of the greatest feelings ever!) and you will soon be back on your way to the US. HUGE BABY STEP!

Your family remains in our thoughts and prayers.

Joe and Ashley Grady

Lori Mills said...

We're Americans living in Canada and I grew up with Eric Wesley in Southern Calif. Know that you are all covered in prayer- even in the great white north, Dena and Rob! Our family will put you on the church prayer list, knwing that God is the great physician and is sovereign in what He does. Be patient and know that when you feel low, you need to look up to Him. May your love and sacrifice for our great country be a blessing to you. From Oakville, Ontario- The Mills Family

Mezzo SF said...

Dear Yllescas Family:
Sending you lots of prayers from CA!!! God is good, He is able and He loves you all. Everything will be as it should in time. Blessings to all of you!

margaret said...

such exciting news!!!! I'm so happy. Go Rob!! Keep moving those shoulders, fingers and eye lids. Wohoo!!! Keep the news acomin'. Lots of love, hugs and prayers. Big, big hugs, margaret, mike sr and mike jr.

Behrns Family said...

Hi Dena,

Just take it one day at a time. Sounds like he made a positive improvement by hearing your voice. Keep telling him stories. He loves you and knows your present. We are all praying for you to keep your stegnth and for Rob's recovery. It obviously takes a stong man to do his job!!

God Bless!!

Tyler, Katie, Grace & Jocelyn

pinkbub1 said...

Dena, I wanted to send my prayers to you,your husband and your family in this difficult and trying times. I pray that God sends his healing angels to work their wonders so that he can come home soon! I don't and cannot know what you are going through but I do know what it feels like to always be afraid to get news of this extent. My son served 13 mths in Iraq and came home last December in one piece. So my heart goes out to you and I will pray everyday!!! God Bless you!

Jack said...

Hi Dena, I'm so sorry to hear of your tragedy. I got here via a message from Chrissie at "Theodore's World" who keeps we vets informed. She is a friend of all veterans and military members. Like most of team Theodore we have seen the horrors of war and consider all serving as our brothers. I'm not terribly religious but have been known to pray on occasion. Robert has the best medical personnel in the world, of little solice at this time, but your presence does wonders. My heart and prayers go out to Robert, to you and your family. God bless you and yours. You and your family are included in our prayers.
I Corps RVN Class of '68-'69.

Chaplain Jeff Bartels said...

Dakota Spirit here for those who knew me back then as the 1-13 Armor Chaplain. I have been aware and praying since the call went out from a loving friend in Ohio. Dena, Rob, and family, my heart goes out to you during this time. I know many are surrounding you with love, prayer, and great support. Dena, thank you for the updates as it allows everyone a chance to tailor their prayers.

As I ponder words, I remember a time down range when Rob and his trusted crew arrived at the range where we had been stuck for days due to a storm. When he showed up, myself and several others got a lift back to base through some tough spots in the area.

Just so happened I got a lift with Rob in his HUMVEE and just before we departed, he sent a message back to BN; "Got god on board so we should be ok, inbound in 2!" Don't worry, no God-complex here, I'm just merely a representative.

Well, with all the blogging, all the prayers of support, and all the love going out, I think it's fair to say we're all giving the Yllescas family a lift. As we all keep those prayer fires burning, be encouraged by John 14:12-14.

Chappy, Teresa, and little Maygan putting in some words with the Father above for you........

sarahbellum said...

A friend of mine passed your blog info on to me. Although we have never met, your blog posts have moved me to tears. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family and that your faith and strength in God is such an inspiration. Thank you for the updates and God's blessings to your family.

Deb (Carlson) Stieren said...

Dena & Rob, Many prayers are being offered up for you from Nebraska City!! Hometown news travels fast...Shelli Stuhr sent out a request to our local prayer chain & I got the blog link from my aunt, Donna Wieseman. I was a classmate of your uncle Bob at OHS & Rob's mom,Barb, was in my brother Jim's class! Just know that God is in control & that all things work for good for those who trust in Him!!! God bless you & give you His peace!!

Nancy said...

Dena- I have to tell you... I'm on my computer a good amount of time during the day and my first stop is this page to check if there is anything new... Anything new from you, or even new comments... I'll read it all, because I'm totally addicted to Yllescas updates of any kind. :)

Hope everything is going well & looking forward to having you guys in the area.



Nicole Stokes said...

Hi Dena! You don't know me but Beth Soechting shared your blog with me! Please know that you and your family are in my prayers! I hope these words give you strength and comfort...The will of God will never lead you where the the grace of God could not keep you.

Nicole Stokes
Birmingham, Alabama

Lorraine & Tim said...

Thanks for the updates, tell your mom thanks for keeping me informed in the beginning. you are doing a GREAT job, just remember that Rob can hear you, and that will keep him going and fighting. Talked to Boyd today--Hohenfels is praying for Rob as are we. I think about you and the girls and your families all the time. Thanks for taking the time to keep all of us informed of everything that is going on, I check the site daily.
Love and prayers to you all.

{ Becca } said...

You all are in my prayers for healing and comfort. God bless your family!


Anonymous said...

I just learned about your husband's injuries and wanted to let you know I'll be adding my prayers to all those who have been praying for him. He is so blessed to have a wife who loves him so much. I hope you'll take care of yourself...this will be so hard on you, and you need to stay well for him and your children. God bless you!

Oddybobo said...

You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices.

Maggie45 said...

JP from sent out an email about your blog.

Rob, and you, and Eva, and Julia and ALL of your family and friends, and Rob's fellow soldiers will be in my daily prayers from now on. I will also request prayers from my Bible Study groups.

"See, I will not forget you...I have you carved in the palm of My hand." Isaiah 49:15

Desmond Real Estate Information said...

To Rob and Family, I don't know you or your family personally but we will always be family. I am a retired veteran so we are family for life. I pray that God give you and your family strength during this difficult times. Dena, i am going say a special prayer for you and the kids to hang in there.


Anonymous said...

I'm a friend of a friend of a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Please take care of yourselves and thank you for your service.

Donna said...


I am so sorry for all your family is going through. Your family will be in my prayers. I am grateful for the sacrifices you have all made and your loving support of your husband while he has so faithfully served our great country.
Donna Cranston
Dallas, TX

Miss Em said...

Dena and Rob

Chuck Z {Mjr C} @ TCOverride said that Rob had been injured and need prayers and good wishes for his recovery.
Dena, you may not get many comments from me but believe me I will check in daily and add to my prayers whatever your strong-willed Captain needs to help him with the healing process and the wobbly first steps down that long road to recovery and wrestling with his daughters again.

Tearfilled thoughts and hopefull prayers rise with the light of the prayer candle to the eyes of His Angels to be whispered in His ears.

Carlos said...


Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there, you can make it! Sending you my best wishes.

Carlos Castillo
Seattle, WA

Anonymous said...

My husband was with yours in an Armor unit a few years ago. We just wanted to let you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Remember - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".

God bless you guys.

Kris Ostdiek said...

Dena - our thoughts and prayers are with you, Rob and the girls and the rest of your families. Kris & Rob Ostdiek (Angie's cousin)

Amy Frelly said...

The power of prayer! So glad to hear of the steps Rob is taking so far. Please know a great many people in Colorado are praying for you both. Dena, I know it must hard to tear yourself away from Rob to post on the blog but we will faithfully wait each time and hopefully you both can feel the healing power of community.
Amy Frelly (Eric Wesley's sister)

Chris said...

Dear Rob and Dena,

Best wishes for a speedy recovery and a safe trip home. It's a long road; take it day by day.


Robin in Ohio said...


I came here via JP at

Just this morning in church, we all said a special prayer for the safety and protection of our armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will add you and your husband to my own prayers, too.


Anonymous said...

My son made me aware of your site and Robs situation. He is an Air Force surgeon and has been in Iraq for two tours. Please know that you and Rob will be im my prayers for a speedy recovery and return to your loving family.

CarrieWannaBePA said...

Hi Dena, I'm here via Chris at Made a Difference for that One. I'm so appreciative of your husband and all of our servicemen and women for their sacrifices. I hope your husband makes very quick progress. Your family is in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

We're so glad to hear about the baby steps Rob is taking! We're praying for you hourly and have put you and your family on our church prayer list. We can't wait to hear about the next step Rob takes!

The Turners

cyndy said...

May God Bless you and Rob and watch over you. My thoughts are with you at this trying time and my prayers for a speedy recovery,I Have been reading your blog and find you to be a very strong family."God Bless" Take care stay safe. Angel Hugs.
Very best Wishes for you
Soldier's Angel Cyndy

Marianna said...

That's wonderful news! Keeping you & your family in my thoughts & prayers.


oross said...

my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. I am like you and am emotional too so know that you will have company when i read your posts.
Gods strength to you all

Paddy said...

That is very encouraging news.

The Petersen Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annaka and Aaron said...

Hi Dena,
We are praying for you guys nonstop. We were excited to hear that Rob is starting to respond to you. Every little step on the road to recovery counts. Rob is the strongest person I know...I'm sure that he is going to get through this with flying colors.
We went to Grandma and Grandpa's house yesterday. Layne and Angie were there with the girls...and they are doing great! I got some really good pictures that I will send you soon. Its so fun to watch Eva and Amarae play. Amarae will pull out Eva's binkie and Eva will pull Amarae's hair, but you can tell they love eachother.
Tell Aunt Bev and Barb hi and send Rob our love.
Love ya, Annaka, Aaron, Aizlynn and Amarae

chad said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I knew Rob when I was stationed at Ft. Riley in A 1-13. Very good man. may things go your way.

The Petersen Family said...

Hi Dena. I am Elisha, Layne and Angie's neighbor. I know we have never met, but I wanted to let you know how proud I am of you. You and Rob have raised two beautiful daughters that I have had the pleasure of spending time with and you are wonderful, wonderful wife and best friend to your husband. I admire you for your strength. I pray for you through out the day and think of you often. I am anxious for your next update. I do have pictures of Julia and Eva on my blog, from Halloween. I update it often for you to see pictures of the girls and how well they are doing in Nebraska! :) Take care, with love Elisha

Holli said...

I cried today while reading your post about your husband responding to you when you were in there!! That is fantstic made my day :) I will continue to pray for you all....continuously....this is great news!!!

Anonymous said...

Our prayers will continue, God is working His ways thru Rob, let's keep our faith strong that he may continue to recover and that you have the strength necessary for what lays ahead. God bless.

Eliana Villescas said...

I heard about what was happening through Bree Loggins, my husband is in the same unit as yours, he's just in Alpha troop. I truly hope that your husbands conditions improve and i will keep your family in my prayers!! I can not even begin to imagine how you and your family are feeling, but as i read the blog and read about his new responses i couldn't help but break down and cry! Just be strong and as you said, God will help you through this!

Anonymous said...

Dear Rob,
God bless you for your service and sacrifice. You are a hero to us all. We will continue to pray for you as you recover. Get well and stay strong. You are so loved by all.

cyndy said...

Dear Dena
I know how hard it is for you to see Rob the way he is.but each day will be better.I am praying for you all.Sending Angel Hugs.
Soldier's Angel
Cyndy in Australia

Jennifer said...


You do not know me. My nephew, SSG Kris Carroll is in your husband's unit. My sister, Yvonne, called me the other day after reading your blog. I am assigned at Ft Belvoir, VA and live in Springfield, about a 30 minute drive from Bethesda. My co-workers and my church family are lending prayer support. If I can be of any assistance in the weeks to come please let me know how I can help.

Jennifer Redfern

cyndy said...

Dear Deana
So glad to hear Rob went well with his surgery.I pray he will continue to go well. May Angels watch over you all as you follow this sometimes steep and winding road. My thoughts are with you constantly.Prayers that MRU I will show everything is as it should be.
Can't wait for the day when Rob you and the Girls will be together.Thank you for keeping the updates going.I know you have a lot on your mind.Take care stay safe May Angels watch over you.
God Bless.
Your friend In Australia
Soldier's Angel

cyndy said...

Dear Deana
What wonderful news. I am so happy for you. I will continue praying for Rob and all the Family.Please know my thoughts are with you at all times. Take care stay safe.
Your friend in Australia
Soldier's Angel
Cyndy and The 3 Amigo's
Lucy,Katie and Bear

cyndy said...

Dear Dena
Words are not enough to express the deep saddness I felt when I read your up date. You and Rob fought such an inspiring battle.My thoughts will still be with you and the Family.May Rob be at peace.
May Angels watch over you all at this sad time. My prayers wull continue for you and the girls and the rest of the family that are left. "Goodbye" to all my Hero's
Sending you warm hugs at this very sad time."God Bless" you all.Soldier's Angel Australia Cyndy