Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We've arrived at Bethesda

Yesterday we flew from Germany to the states. Rob did fairly well on the flight. His temps continue to be high. The highest it got during the flight was 103.4. They were able to cool him off with IV bags put in ice and then put between his arms and legs. They also hung an American flag on the wall beside him. That meant a lot. Once we got to Andrews Air Force Base, there was a bus ambulance that transported us to Bethesda. I swear I aged during that trip. Rush hour traffic and a bus flying down the road with sirens and lights...... Once we arrived, we were met by Rob's 2 sisters, brother, and brother in law. We got settled into our room at the Fisher House and then met with the team of doctors in ICU. She asked me what I already knew about Rob's injuries. I listed them from head to toe. She looked surprised and asked if I was a nurse. Anyways, she said that the thing that concerned her was why Rob has not woken up or responded. However, I told her about the time he was moving his eyelids and shoulders and also how his pulse and heartrate go up when we're in the room. She said she had not been told that information and was happy to hear it. Plus, my thinking is this. He's been so drugged up and his body has gone through SO MUCH, just give the poor man some time. He was also getting ready to go back to surgery. I guess his temps had reached 104 at one point which was concerning to them. We were able to see him before they took him to surgery. As soon as his sister Natalie talked to him, his blood pressure skyrocketed. He started really moving his eyes. We were all really happy to see that. This morning I went back and saw him. I've decided that I also have good days and bad days. There's only so many days I can be strong. Today was not one of them. It absolutely broke my heart to see him laying there. I'm still expecting this to be a really bad dream. I couldn't stay in the room long and left to come back here to the Fisher House. I'll go back over soon, I just need some time to cry alone. He is my soulmate and my heart continues to get ripped out everytime I walk into the room. His brother, Chris, and mom are with him now. They are going to be doing an ECG and MRI to check the status of his brain. I'm glad they're doing this b/c we'll get a better idea about what's going on in there, but I'm also scared to death. They were also worried yesterday that he had sepsis since his temps were so high. They have him on a cooling blanket right now and took some blood cultures. As far as I know, his cultures were ok in Germany. Let's pray they're ok here too. Rob is definetly not out of the woods. Please pray and pray and pray, I feel so helpless right now that the only I feel I can do IS PRAY. I also want to tell you all how humbled I am about how many people have checked this blog, wrote comments, donated money, offered prayers and support. I cannot possibly thank you all personally but please know it means more to us than we can ever tell you. THANK YOU.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you are back in the US, where there is more specialized equipment and medics who can continue to treat Rob and help him get better.

You need to take care of yourself too, and remember it is OK to cry and let all the pressure out. You continue to be the one person who Rob needs by his side, so it is extremely important for you to remain strong and healthy for him and your two daughters.

your family, friends, and complete strangers are thinking and praying for you. You WILL heal and recover. Stay strong.

Love to all,
Ewald and family

Anonymous said...

We're all praying for you Rob and glad you are back on United States soil. We all miss you terribly and think about you every second of the day. We love you and can't wait to see you again!

Carson & Erica Schott

Carlie Davidson said...

It's ok to be alone and cry. It's only human and you are definitely entitled to be that. You've gone a week at full speed ahead and it's bound to catch up at some point. It just happens to be today and that's ok.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind how much you love your husband -

I still can only imagine what it's like being in your shoes -

You MUST take care of yourself...

We all offer our support, prayers, and love to you, Rob, and your entire family.
The Davidsons

Kuhlman said...

Hang in there, Dena! We're all still praying. . . Keep the faith, girl.

lacey said...

As everyone, i'm glad your back here. Thank you for writing to let us all know how you're all doing. As always, i'll be praying for him. But i'm also praying for you as well. Take time when you need it. He needs you now. And that means that you have to take some time to try and let yourself process this. Your only human, and you can't be strong all the time. I'm sure Rob can fell his soulmate going through this with him. Take care. Your in my thoughts.
lacey carroll

Liz said...

Sending many hugs and prayers.

Jaime Pachta said...

I'm glad to see you made it back to the U.S. safely. I am sorry that you have to go through all of this. I also wish it was a bad dream that you could just wake up from...but it isn't. So on this end we will continue to pray for you and your family. Remember that you are only human, so crying is a good thing. You need to release all of the emotions that are built up inside because that is the healthy thing to do. You need to remain healthy so you can be there for Rob and your girls. You have lots of FAMILY, FRIENDS, and people you don't even know praying for you so that is HUGE. I am amazed at how you are handling this, you are one strong woman. "If God brought you to it...He will bring you through it." Stay Strong...Dan, Jaime, Ashley, Nicolas, & Mitchell

The Bender's said...

Dena, We are so glad you have been surrounded by even more family. And know you will be surrounded by even more family and friends...we are all here loving you and anytime you need a little pep put into your step call on us. You have been and continue to be Rob's strongest angel here on Earth. You take the time whenever you need it, to be that. And know that my heart is aching to give you a little pep or a warm embrace when you need it.
Thank you for all the information, as we will direct our prayers to his temperature, his cognitive state, and your continued strength and healing. When you take a moment, hug on those close and then re-read the many encouraging blog comments. Many are with you and Rob.
We love you,
Karen and Craig

Maggie45 said...

Still praying several times a day...and will continue to do so....for ALL of you.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but that doesn't matter. I am part of a large group of people who are praying for Rob every day, and we are all daily reading your blog and praying for you also. I hope you can feel our support. We know this is the hardest thing you've ever gone through, but you will make it through. Rely on your family and God for strength and you will be OK. Continue to be strong for Rob, he knows you're there!

Our love and prayers are with you daily!

Aunt Nancy said...

Dena...It is only natural for your heart to be breaking...and, it is only natural to cry...and crying is also a VERY GOOD thing to do..Crying is a natural cleansing and a natural stress releaser, and, my goodness it is NEVER A WEAKNESS in a shows that you are HUMAN!
I want you to know that if I was there I would wrap my arms around you and GIVE YOU MY SHOULDER! I know though that Bev and Barb are there and they both have strong shoulders to hold YOU up...and, God is AlWAYS there to hold you up when you can't stand on your own!
I am consistantly praying that Rob will come back ROB and, I truly believe in my heart that HE WILL! Faith is when you close your eyes and open your heart and just believe in the miracles that God has for Rob and for you! Just KEEP the faith and BELIEVE!
You are very special to me and, a VERY SPECIAL niece!
xoxoxI love you to pieces...Aunt Nancy

Heather said...

Glad to hear you all are safely back in the states! As other have said it is alright to cry! It doesn't make you weak... in fact it makes you stronger! We are all here for you and praying! Thank you for being strong enough to share this difficult time with us all. I'm sure its not easy to have to write all this out but know that we all appreciate knowing what is going on!
Stay strong we are all here for you!
God Bless
Heather Sanchez

Anonymous said...

my heart yearns for you all. It has been said that "God is too loving to be unkind, and too wise to make a mistake". We have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. As He was in the fire with the 3 Hebrew children so He is in the fire with us. Rest in the knowledge that our light afflection which is but for a moment will produce an eternal weight of glory.

Anonymous said...

I´m glad you´re home and may God give you the patience and strength you need to fight this battle, We are praying for all of you.
Patty de Leon

Behrns said...

Hi Dena!!

All I know to say is try stay as strong as you can, but it's okay to break down from time to time, so use your supporters. We will continue to pray for all of you to get through this.

Also, my mom is computer illiterate and wanted to know if she could get your mailing address to where you are staying. My email adress is or if you want to post it on the blog the next time you're on it. I know she wants to send you something.

Stay strong and keep the faith!


Jodie Roberts said...

Rob, Dena and family: We are so thankful that all of you are back in the United States. Home of free because of courageous people like you. We pray morning and night for your recovery.

I remember a quote I once heard that I feel is fitting - In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins....not thru strength, but by perseverance.

You have many hard days ahead, but with the support and prayers of the hundreds of people rooting for you and your determination and grit, you can overcome all obstacles.

With our support and prayers to you - Andy, Jodie, Sydney, Janna and Melinn Roberts

Household6 said...


I'm sure it is perfectly normal to emotionally crash. I don't blame you for needing time alone. I know this is totally different BUT once Sam was in the hospital for failure to thrive and after about the third day I couldn't take it anymore. I had to get out, to walk around, check my email, etc. I felt horrible in the room with him and felt horrible away from him. It is amazing how much guilt we manage to feel as women!

Now like I said, I know that doesn't really compare, but I hope it helps you realize that you don't have to feel guilty. You are still a human being. Praying for you!

I'll come see ya soon...gotta get rid of a stomach bug. I don't want any germs sticking to us!



Donna Walker said...


We are happy to have you back in the states. Rob will receive the best care imagined. It really helps to have family with you. I know he will pull through this. We will keep our prayers coming your way. Stay Strong!

God Bless,

JJ & Donna

Chris said...

I wish I could give you a hug. I can't even imagine what you are going through. Its okay to love that man. I'm praying for your strength and Rob's strength to fight and get better.

Erin Cote said...

My heart is breaking for you as you go through this. I am praying hard for you and your family. God is GOOD and he will give you strength you both need to survive.

Erin Cote
Mesa AZ

Cindy Lopez said...

I'm glad to know you guys are back home. That way you and Rob are close to your family, you need all the support you could get. you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
Love, cindy.

Jackie Fjell said...

Dena-I'm home with a cold "bug" today, so have just finished reading all the comments posted to your blog. Words cannot describe how they make me feel--what an awesome support system you have! Please, please, please don't feel one bit guilty for having a "not so strong" time--you are entitled! It will also fortify you and make you stronger for the next time you go into Rob's room! I'm so glad so many of his family are able to be there with you as well--divided problems make them easier to bear. Give your Mom & Barb a hug for me. I can only imagine as a Mom what they are going through! My daughter told me when Kyle was deployed that "this is the hardest for wives and Moms", and I truly believe that. No one else knows them better than us! You all hang in there--God is answering ALL the prayers that are coming your way, and they are MANY! Thanks again for updating the blog--it's the first thing I check every day! Love and prayers....Jackie & Joe

The Gisslers said...

I am glad that you are back to the U.S. where I am sure they have doctors that can do amazing things. I am praying not only for Rob but also for Him to give the doctors healing hands and minds so they do whatever is best for Rob to recover.

Tell Rob that we are thinking of him. We all know he is a fighter and won't give up. He has 2 beautiful daughters and a great wife to live for which I know will keep him fighting.

Please post an address to send things to. My mom has asked for one and I am sure other people would like to send things as well.

Love you
Shelly, Aaron and Megan

Anonymous said...

Rob, An old Navy man here from the Cold War days. I want to try to say "I thank you for your service as I served for you in my time with the Navy". I want to challenge you sir to rise above the adversity and return to service as a leader of your troops. These troopers followed your leadership to the end and now are waiting for your voice of leadership once again. You sir are the kind of leader who leads from the front I know. There are others who will fill in for command till you get yourself up and running. I feel your leadership is like the leadership that has been displayed by other hero's before you in the 6-4 Cav. I am missing names but I will research your units history and make it mine.
I do know that in the Navy there are excellent corpsman that await your appearance for their service. It was a Navy Commander who was the trauma surgeon that assisted my daughter in re-attachment of her leg after a motorcycle accident. It has been 5 years now and we still have medical needs that are being done. Recovery is a road traveled by the whole family as a unit pulling together. You sir hold the key to recovery and your family and others know your story and are waiting to give encouragement along the way. To borrow some sayings from my Naval past, "The hardest day was yesterday". "You wanted me to do what?". Just suck it up and feel the pain and know we are standing by to offer you encouragement and recovery.
We are praying for you but want to put legs under those prayers to make your recovery happen.

brittneyjackson said...


I made Chili the other day and thought of you. "Should I make chili and cinnamon rolls or spaguetti and cookies?" That day seems like a lifetime ago. I myself keep hoping that this has all been a bad dream and I can only imagine what you're going through. There are so many people praying. Even when you cry you are still a strong person. Keep doing what you're doing. I love you and think of you and Rob and the girls often.
Brittney J.

aheartfromtheblueridge said...

Tears are good....and so is SLEEP. Try to get some so you can recharge your batteries. I am thankful you have other family members there that can hold down the fort for you.

Praying for a good MRI and ECG.

tjdecker said...

Congratulations on your arrival to Bethesda! Rob,we know you are fighting as hard as you can.
Your drive and personality, that you have always shown, will carry you through this ordeal, as well.
Also,we want you to know that we are pulling for you, too.
Dena and family, stay together and keep each other's strength and spirit positive. We are with you in thought and prayer, always.
Love, Tim & Jan

lisalou said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am friends with Nancy Kules whom I met while she and Ryan were at Walter Reed. My husband and I are volunteers at Walter Reed and he is also on Active Air Force Pilot with a leg amupation. We met Nancy and Ryan thru our volunteer work. My husband and I plan to visit Bethesda this Friday to visit you and your family and to offer any assitance. We two just found out that a family friend is there at Bethesda. If there is anything that you need for your or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me via Nancy Kules. I have a lot of resources that can make your stay much easier so that you can concentrate on your husband. You are a strong wife, mother and wife etc...Hang in there and know that we are here to support you. Sincerely, Lisa Lourake

tjdecker said...

Congratulations on your arrival at Bethesda!
Rob, we know you are fighting as hard as you can. You have shown us a drive and zest for life that we know will carry you through this ordeal.
Dena, take care of yourself, phycially and emotionally. Let the steam off when you can and you can help Rob even more. Rob knows that you are with him.
It is also good that you understand all of the injuries Rob must overcome. That, too, will help him in recovering.
As always, our thoughts and prayers are with you daily.
Jan & Tim

Amy (Eric W. sis) said...

Dena and Rob,
On our knees in prayer for you both and so grateful you are back in the states. Rob, your family, friends and country love you...
Dena, I wish I had a magic kleenex to send you, you've been so amazingly strong. I'm glad to hear you're taking the time to cry.

James Markert said...


Jim Markert here, drop me a note at please.

We're still praying like mad over here, thanks for the updates, much better info than we get through JPTA.


JoAnne Bartek said...

Dena: Keep the faith and lean on the Lord. You need those "crying times" - don't ever deny yourself that. Please take care of yourself and give yourself some "away time". Rob needs you and the best "you" is when you are strong for him. Rob is surrounded by the best medical staff and your girls are surrounded by loving family. The prayers keep coming.
We love you,
Aunt Jo, Uncle Steve, Brooke & Ashley

Rodriguez said...

Dena, thank you for the update. We are glad to hear that you all made it back to the States safely and that Rob is in good hands. It's okay to cry! Rob knows you are there for him. We will continue to pray that God gives you strength, and helps Rob through this rough time.

Rodriguez Family

Anonymous said...


My prayers have been constant for you and Rob this past week.

Tears are the "windows to the soul"...embrace those tearful moments...they are a form of release for you. You have been so strong for Rob and everyone else....allow others to give to you, too.

I'm keeping ALL of you in & Rob, as well as your parents and Rob's parents.


Karleen Watts

Anonymous said...

I am so touched by all the people who have left comments for Rob, Dena, and their families. We are so happy to hear you made it back to the states and Rob will be in good hands. Justin and I pray daily for Rob's recovery. We love you and will be looking forward to visiting you soon!


Justin and Melinn (Schott) Klein

Quinn and Melanie said...

I am glad to hear you made it to the states and I am so glad you are surrounded by even more family. I would imagine you have good and bad days, but you have to let your emotions out. I'll tell you though you are one of thee strongest people ever, I am in awe of you. I cry with you and pray with you. I send a huge hug.
Mel (Quinn & the girls)

SSG Ian Boone said...

Many of you know me as SSG Boone I was on leave when the accident happened and i just wanted to say that he is in my prayers and i wish him and his family the best. I was a privelage to say he is and will be by commanding officer. He is one of the best one's i had ever had. I get well soon Sir. I will keep you and your family im my prayers throught out all of this.

Nancy said...

We could not be happier to have you guys in the area... We know from experience that military medicine is strong, and all of Bethesda will be working to get Rob the best possible care. We are just a phone call away so PLEASE don't hesitate to call when you need anything (even if it's just a hug!)

Remember what we've talked about- up and down, up and down. Injuries like this area a roller coaster- things are going to take time. Try (I know, I know) to be patient. Spend time at Rob's bed side, and pray/talk to him. He feels you there- you know that.


krueth said...

I am so glad you made it back to the States now. Praying for all of you, but especially for Rob to start healing now and get that temperature down. Keep the Faith. Wendy

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are with you from ARKANSAS. God speed!

Anonymous said...

Although we do not know your family personally, know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. We will be praying and faithfully awaiting word of Rob's recovery!
The Christensens, Guatemala City

Shelli (Bartak) Stuhr said...

Alleluia! Praise be to God! He has helped Rob get back to the states! I'm so glad to hear that you have his whole family there. There is great strength in numbers. Keep up your faith, it is what will sustain you in your darkest hour. Through this whole ordeal there are good things happening, you just have to look for them, hold onto them and stay positive. For one, you, Rob and all of his family are going to become even closer and stronger as a family unit. There are going to be setback on the road to recovery, don't dwell on them. Keep celebrating the positives, have faith and pray. We are all here cheering you all on and supporting you with our own prayers. You all need to remember that Rob needs you to be strong for him when you are with him. Take time for yourselves and take turns so that you all can give him your best! Dena you are doing great! You need to let yourself grieve too. He'll draw his strength from you!

Tracy Long said...

Dena--I was so saddened to hear about what happened to Rob! You are amazingly strong--remember to take care of yourself, too. Know that we will be praying for Rob daily, as well as you and the girls. Love, Tracy (Kohler) Long

Anonymous said...

"Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" Jeremiah 33:3

Dena and Rob- This is the promise I am praying for you two. God's word is truth, it is life and it is active. Please hold onto these words as a comfort, knowing the Lord will heal and bless you both.

An American who thanks her soldiers-
Lori Mills and family

Anonymous said...

we're glad you are in the US. we'll continue praying for your strength in such difficult times and for Rob's complete recovery. God is working wonders already, He is listening to our prayers. As someone who does not know you, but as a wife, I am completely amazed how strong you are Dena and how much you love your husband. He will recover thanks to you, your girls and Our Powerful God that always listens to our prayers, so let's keep the faith.
the astaiza family
fort lauderdale, FL

Mitch and Vicki Coffin said...

Rob - Thank you for your dedication and service to our country. How blessed we are to have the rights and freedoms we do because so many, like you, have fought on our behalf. We must never forget your sacrifices. Many far and wide, known and unknown are praying for you. It is an inspiration to read the comments from those around the globe who wish you well. God bless you and keep you safe in His hands.
Dena - dear Dena,
We remember you most from your younger days, like your little ones now. We do not know what lies before us, only that with God's help can we face another day. God hears your cries and will lift you up. He will dry your tears. Only by taking care of Dena will you be able to take care of Rob.
Barb, Bev, Alan, and Otto, and families - Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as well.
This verse has given us comfort and confidence through the years -"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
May it do the same for all of you.
Take care. We hold you in our hearts.
Mitch and Vicki :-) Coffin

Roseann M. Doody said...

My entire family (including a large contingent of Nuns and Sisters) have been praying for Rob Yllescas and his entire family. We are so glad to see he is back in the USA, and that his family is strong and by his side! Dena, you are doing a TERRIFIC job of supporting your husband and family! Take one day at a time and keep talking positivly to your husband...he CAN hear you! Love and best wishes, Roseann Doody

JihadGene said...

We're praying, then praying, and praying some more, for you and Rob.

Anonymous said...

Dena, Rob, and family -

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Great Aunt Paula and Great Uncle Ivan

Anonymous said...

Rob, you are strong for this fight and you WILL make it through. Dena and your family and your fellow Soldiers and all of us are here to make sure that happens.'re back in the U.S., you have us to lean on so please do take some time to unload......just know that prayers will continue....with God and you by his side, Rob will have the strength to continue to fight.

We're all here for you and Rob.

Amanda Kapci said...

Dena and Rob,
Our family continues to pray for both of you as you continue on this journey. Every season of our lives brings new and often very difficult challenges but we are always stronger for it in the end. We pray that Rob will be able to keep being strong and that you Dena will continue to have the strength and courage it takes to get through each day! Blessings to you all!
Amanda Kapci and family

Michael & Hanna Crowder said...

Thank you so much for all your updates. I know that this is so emotionally draining for you, but it means a lot that you are willing to share it with all of us. It helps us to know exactly how to direct our prayers for Rob. I wish that we could do more, but nothing is more powerful than prayer, and you and Rob sure do have an awful lot of people praying for your family and for Rob's well-being. We love you all, and if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.
Michael & Hanna

Annaka and Aaron said...

Hi Dena,
My heart breaks for is ok to cry. You have been so strong. Just take it one day at a time...I know that it is easier said than done. It is exciting to hear that Rob is responding with this eye lids and heart rate, that is a good sign. please update soon! We are praying for you guys nonstop.
Love you and miss you!
Annaka, Aaron, Aizlynn and Amarae

Anonymous said...

We are thinking of you every day and praying for Rob's recovery, as well as for you and your continued strength. It is hard to imagine what you are going through, but please know you are in so many people's hearts right now (it's evident by all the comments being posted!) Time, determination, and your faith will see you through...the power of prayer is truly amazing!

Take good care,
Chris, Tara and Elliot Wieseman

Bree Loggins (wife of SFC Loggins said...

We are so happy Rob has come home to the States. We know he will get the best care and being closer to family and friends will be healing for you both.
Kaylee and Shelby cheered when I told them his plane had arrived in the States! They are very concerned about “CPT.ROB" -remember they called him that on the camping trip because he is the Captain of the boat :) They are keeping up with his progress through the blog just like the rest of us, and of course they keep him and his soldiers in their prayers.
I pray that in God's time Rob will awake and give you the response you so desperately desire, just keep in mind that his body needs this rest right now.
Know that it is okay to cry...we are crying with you.
Love and Prayers,
Bree Loggins

Ashley and Joe Grady said...

Some days will be bad, some sad, some okay and soon the time goes by and you will start to have AMAZING days! Know that Bethesda is an EXCELLENT hospital. We there for two months before Walter Reed and I can go on and on about how wonderful the doctors, nurses and other staff was to us.

I'm sad to hear that you had an emotional day, but all wives in the same situation have those days (trust me) and it is best to get out your emotions. Try to remember to get away every once in awhile (I know it is hard sometimes), but it helps so much. Stay strong and take care of yourself!

Still praying for you and your family.

-Joe and Ashley Grady

Anonymous said...

I just want to tell you that you and your family are in our prayers, and Rob most of all. I do not know how hard this is, having never been there, but I am a Miltary Mom, and I know it would have to be difficult. Keep the faith, Our God promises us that HE will always be there. I will have Rob and you all put on our Prayer Chain at church.

Dena's dad said...

Dena, I've prayed so hard for Rob and you that it hurts. Every hour that I'm awake I try and say a different prayer. I know that God will heal Rob, but it is very stressful on me here alone. I can't see him, touch him or laugh and cry with him. Please get your rest,cry alot--let it all out and as always, be Rob's strength. I saw the girls last night and they are doing super with Angie. Julia loves her new school.She showed me some pictures she drew to give her daddy "as soon as he's better." As I was leaving, she handed me a picture that she colored for me and at the top she wrote "I love you" You can imagine what that did for me. Isn't it amazing all the comments that have been posted? Dena, I love you. Dad

cary said...

Rob - you don't know me, I'm an old Marine. What you have done is absolutely the most heroic thing possible. I salute you. Sir, take all the time you need to recover. Those of us who have gone before will be watching out for you, watching over you, and most of all praying for you and your family.

(Dena - be strong when you can. When you can't, know that there is a very grateful nation out here willing to be strong for you. Just say the word. Know that we are praying for you and your family. We are here for you, if not in person, then in spirit.)

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and Rob, I knew Rob since he came to the unit and always had the utmost respect for him, I considered him a friend as well as an enlisted and officer can be friends.
He is a strong man and will recover I have faith in him. It is also a comfort to him to know he has such a loving spouse and family to support him in this time or healing, he is truely blessed.

SGT Paul Sparks
Medic 6-4 Cav

Heather & Mike S. said...


Mike and I are both praying for you and Rob, and wish there was some magical way to make it all better. I'm just thankful that you are back in America, because everything is better in America. Say hi to him for us, and let him know that we are completely willing to crew the boat when we get back and pretend like it's the old days. We miss you and can't wait to see you both again. Take care, Heather & Mike S.

Lodmell House said...

I am glad to hear you all made it back to the states. As a complete stranger to you, I wish I knew exactly what to say. I think about you all daily and am continuing to pray that his recovery goes quickly. Praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dena and Rob,

As I worked in my classroom today, I wondered - Which of these students might have to face the true test of their strength someday like you are? Who knew all those years ago - well, maybe not all that long ago :)- that we would praying for you and your family so intensely! I have faith that you all will come through this based on the strength you had then and are finding in abundance now. Take care of yourself, and that includes have a meltdown now and then, so you can continue to be the cheerleader and advocate throughout Rob's recovery. Let all of our prayers help lift you up after a meltdown and allow you to continue through all that is ahead. The prayers won't end! You can count on that!


Anonymous said...

A huge cyber ((((hug)))) coming your way from an Army mom in Georgia. My heart breaks for you dear. There are many, many people praying for Rob and for you. Hang in there girl. Break down when you need to and know that we are all praying for you and pulling for you and wishing and hoping. I remember reading Nancy Kules caring bridge entries when Ryan was on the roller coaster ride that was his recovery in the early stages. It seemed as if each day brought new challenges, but also brought new hope as Ryan worked to recover. Rob is working hard to recover and come back to you, you can be sure of that. It's hard work and he is no doubt exhausted from it. I know you are exhausted, too. If I could airmail some strength to you, I would do it in a heart beat.
I am praying for a better day tomorrow. Hang in there.

Carol Dzurenko
Powder Springs, GA

Anonymous said...


When you have a moment, please take a look at this You Tube video. I heard this song today and thought of you and Rob and it made me cry for both of you. The word's should be a great encouragement to you on days like today, and every day for that matter.

Remember, His hands are holding you...holding you both. We're Praying for you constantly.

Wendell said...

Dena, I can not even imagine what you are going through...I wish I could take away Rob's pain and your fear but all I can do is pray!! Be strong and know we are praying very hard and you are in our every thoughts! We love you all!! Uncle Wendell and Aunt Jonell

Carol said...

Dena, its is ok to have bad days. Crying is a way for you to heal too. I don't know what it is like to be going thur what you are going thur but God knows just turn to him when you go see Rob ask him and he will provide. I know in my heart that God has more for Rob to do on this earth. I glad that you guys are back in the States. God bless and we here in Colo will keep you all in our hearts and prayers. Love Carol

Anonymous said...

Robert, you'll be happy to know that you are on the HuskerPedia link also,

I find myself praying for you through out the day. The hours are long because my mind tends to think of you and your family. This means I have to work extra to catch up.

Dena, you are displaying such a positive attitude through everything. It is something I truly admire. Stay positive, lean on the family and friends like so many are doing by expressing themselves and their prayers in your blog.

May GOD bless each and every one you.

Joyce Winfield said...


It has been humbling for us to read so many encouraging and sincere comments from so many people who love you, respect you and are praying for you. Wow! You are awesome.

And you, Dena, are just as awesome. My heart aches for you and the emotional pain you are experiencing. I will be with your Dad tomorrow and give him a great big hug. Wish we could in turn wrap our arms around both you and Rob. We so look forward to that day.

Much love,
Aunt Joyce and Uncle Doug

margaret said...

LOVE YOU DENA!!! Stay strong. I know it's easy for me to say this, but I know you and you ARE strong. Close your eyes and give yourself a HUGE hug from me and a really BIG huge from little Michael Junior. Know that you are loved by each of us Mariani's and I will get Junior and I down to Bethesda once the time is right and you've had time to settle in a little. Call or write anytime you need anything - even if it's just a ear.

WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! And are so proud of all that you are doing. How you are taking care of Rob and everything that Rob is and has been doing for our country. Our military guys and gals are beyond amazing as are each of the spouses. You're troupers and will get through this.

Margaret and Mike Jr and Sr.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/06/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

The Morrow Family said...

Each day I read your blog and marvel at your strength and your resolve to overcome. Your whole family has been put on a prayer list at our church. We as a community are praying for all of you and for Rob's recovery.

Anonymous said...

Rob, Dena and family
We are praying for you out here in Cali. We will be holding a blood drive with the Red Cross 11/18-11/22 in Robs name. May I have permission to give them his picture for the posters? Sending love and light. Julie Ramirez, Army Blue Star Mom e-mail

LauraWG Arts said...

You do not know me, but I wanted to let you know that Rob will stay in our thoughts and prayers. We know this is a difficult time, but strongly believe that you will be well soon.

With love to your family,
The Griffith family in Jonesboro, GA.

Pat said...

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Thank you for your service. You & your family arre in my prayers.

David Black said...

You don't know me but a quick comment from Nebraska for both of you. (I found out about this blog from the Omaha World Hearld news article.)

I read your comments and just want to say how touching it is to see the committment and love a wife has for her husband and soul mate in one of the "bad times" that the vows refer to. Keep the faith, there will be "good times" to come, they may be different from what you expected, but God will provide. As a husband I am praying for you daily - the love of a wife is an incredible thing with incredible power!

I am a proud father of a 20 year old man who is in both the Army ROTC and also the Army National Guard. He and I both talked about the risks when he committed and joined and I fully support his decision - soldiers are a unique breed and I am so so proud to call one my son. As a parent of a soldier I am praying for you daily!

David Black
Papillion, NE

Anonymous said...

Your family has been in my prayers and you are now on the prayer list at my church. Know that you are thought of and spoken about to God every day!