Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back in Nebraska

Sorry it's been a couple of days since I last wrote. I've been EXTREMELY busy and also extremely tired!!! The Memorial Service was really nice. I have to say that the roll call they do is the absolute worst. For those of you who don't know what this is, they call out Rob's name 3 times. Of course, each time he doesn't answer. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this is, but all the memorial services I've been to do this. It just makes it that much more real that he's gone. These past couple of days have been emotionally exhausting. The house, the service, and yesterday I got the Army Times and Rob's picture was under the section "Human Toll". Every week I got the paper, I'd always look at this to see how many soldiers were killed that week in Iraq and Afghanistan. To see Rob there, killed me. Then yesteray I spent all day with my Casualty Assistant Officer on Ft Hood going to different offices for benefit information. I was gone from 8am to 3:30pm. When I got back to the house, my friend who's a real estate agent was there and we got our house put on the market. I then had a couple of more friends stop by. Later I still had to pack up a few more things to take back with me to Nebraska. I took a bunch of Rob's t-shirts, jeans, dress shirts, and acu's. One of Rob's aunts said she would make a quilt from Rob's t-shirts and another friend said she knows someone who will make teddy bears out of his jeans, shirts, and acu's. I figure this would be great so we can still have his things near us without having to put them all in boxes or get rid of them. That's the hardest for me. Right now I can leave our house and come back to Nebraska. But when the house gets sold and I move into a new one, I have to figure out what to do with his things. I can't bear to get rid of them because it's part of HIM and there are so many memories. But I can't bear to look at them all the time either because the scab constantly gets torn off. Now that I'm back in Nebraska knowing that this will be my new reality, things are starting to set in. I MISS HIM SO MUCH. My world as I know it has turned upside down. My whole adult life I've only known the military. I've been married for 8 1/2 years with 2 small children. Rob was an amazing father and husband. He helped me so much. My family will be wonderful and will help me out with ANYTHING I need, but my best friend, husband, and father to my children is gone. And I have so many emotions running through me: sad, scared, angry, uncertain.... I just have to hold on strong to the fact that God will get us through this. I pray every night for Him to help me be the mother our girls need me to be to raise them solely on my own so they can grow up to be happy, confident, christian women. And what helps me so much is knowing how many family, friends, and perfect strangers are supporting the girls and I and giving me those words of encouragment. I know that we will never truly be alone. I thank God every night for all of you who are wrapping your arms around us. More than ever, I can't thank you enough.


Kati from western Nebraska said...

Hey Dena, I understand how your feeling. I am lucky to still have my husband but the feelings are there of the loss of my mom. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I am glad you have so many family and friends there to help you. I think of you often and I wish you the best. I am sure you will do fine raising the girls, its gonna be hard but you will be okay. Try and take care and keep your head held high. Thinking of you and the girls often. With lots of love and care


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it back safe. I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I have no doubt that you will be the women you were meant to be. And your daughters are blessed to have you as their mother. And I love the idea of a quilt. Hopefullly, you could have two made, and you'll be able to pass them down to your babies. But, whatever decisions you make in your life, they are the right ones. You'll make Dena. With much love and prayers. Take care.
lacey c.

Jackie Fjell said...

Dena, I cannot imagine what you are going through without Rob here with you on earth. You must know that he's with you in spirit and forever in your heart. Life as you knew it has changed and I'm sure it will be HARD. Just know that all of us who love you and Rob are here for you and WANT to help you in any way you can. I have no doubt whatsoever that you will raise those girls to be Godly, Christian women just like their Mom, and you will keep Rob's memory alive for them. There's no rush to "get rid" of any of Rob's things. Keep them as long as you need to--when the time is right, you'll find a way to hold on to what you need. The quilts and teddy bears are wonderful ideas, and I'm sure there will be more forthcoming. Hang in there and let God have your burdens. Thanks so much for the update.......try to get some rest. Love and prayers....Jackie and Joe

Anonymous said...

Oh Dena, My heart breaks for you. I think the roll call idea sucks as well. Every memorial service I attend just reminds me of how brutal it is, I can only imagine the pain it must have caused you. I am so sorry. I have been thinking so much about you, it is going to be a BIG adjustment moving back with your family and leaving the Army world. You just need to know that this Army family that you have come to know will never leave you. We are all with you....always. We love you Dena, hang in there.

Also, you have EVERY right to feel angry, sad and lonely, your life was just turned upside down.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone...having been a good friend of Rob I want you to know that we are here for you and your daughters...there is not a lot one can say in these hard times, but rest certain knowing Rob will not be forgotten and he lives on in his daughters, who still need you. Keep the faith.

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

Just a quick note from a complete stranger to let you know I have followed your story from the beginning and think about you and Rob and your girls EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

You're right. Perfect strangers care more than you'll ever know!

Nancy Christian said...

Your words hang so heavy in my heart but they also make me more positive that you all will come out of this okay. Because of your incredible perception and love, I can easily see you becoming an advocate for military women. Your voice is powerful, even though you may not feel it. The rest of you will catch on to that and you will want to help others. You are already proving yourself strong enough to keep up your writing and to keep us in your thoughts. Mine hardly waver away from your struggle. As a military wife, I know the repercussions that there could be for loving a soldier, but it is so worth the risk. Rob is surely smiling down on you and your unwavering devotion. Since I met you at the Andrews Fisher House, I knew that I was meeting an incredible woman. I was honored to meet you and your family. Keep your faith.

Andrea e Isabella said...

HI DENA.... My heart breaks to hear you! We still here there for you, thanks for the updating!! I went yersterday to the church for the 9 days of Rob´s past away here they celebrate a " Misa" in his honor there were lot´s of people.
In the journeys of here one named " El quetzalteco" other named " Prensa Libre" they talk about everything that happened to Rob, I will pictured today and sended to Nancy so she could give it to you! I STILL Have you in my heart and thoughts daily, and the hole family Yllescas Too, Speacially Natalie .. she is my best friend, When are you Coming back Natalie??, anyway, im so shocked how you have been handling all this, you are an amazing person, God Bless You and I know he would take care of you too!!

Anonymous said...

CPT Yllescas...

CPT Robert Yllescas...

CPT Robert J. Yllescas...


You don't know me but I have been monitoring your posts and words simply fail me. I witnessed a memorial service and I will agree with you about the "Roll Call". First Sergeant would call out the members of the squad..."PVT Smith"; "here First Sergeant"; "PVT Jones"; "here First Sergeant"...and so forth. Then he reads the name of the fallen soldier and the silence is deafening.

As has been said in the comments section of all your entries, "God Bless you".

Anonymous said...

CPT Yllescas...

CPT Robert Yllescas...

CPT Robert J. Yllescas...


You don't know me but I have been monitoring your posts and words simply fail me. I have witnessed a memorial service and I will agree with you about the "Roll Call". First Sergeant would call out the members of the squad..."PVT Smith"; "here First Sergeant"; "PVT Jones"; "here First Sergeant"...and so forth. Then he reads the name of the fallen soldier and the silence is deafening.

As has been said in the comments section of all your entries, "God Bless you".

Yvonne said...

It may help you to read this blog - you are not alone...

Nebraska said...

Another perfect stranger that has followed your blog since day one. You have ministered to those you don't even know with your words. I encourage to continue to use your words in the future - you have a gift.

I will continue to follow your blog if you continue utilizing it. Every time I read an entry it gives me another specific thing to pray for or to give praise for.

You have a gift in your words.


Trish said...

Dena - no matter where you go, you'll always have an Army of friends following you and those girls - and Rob as your Guardian Angel - I truly believe this - you are am exceptional woman, and those girls are blessed to have you as their Mom - stay strong in your Faith - we're thinking of you and praying!! God bless you,
Rome, Georgia

Toni said...


I can only say I can not imagine the deep grief and sadness you are experiencing. My husband has four months left of his 15 month deployment in Afghanistan. It is NOT fair that some make it home safely, while others do not. Military families who live with the possibility, or the reality, of the death of a loved one, every minute of everyday, have to stand by each other in these times of loss. Just as your husband would have never left a soldier in the a military spouse we will never leave you behind as well Dena.
Your name is in my bible and I will always pray that you feel Gods love around you; know you have the support of of your military family, and you always will.
Please, Dena give your self time to heal, find love and peace where you can, and I believe, truly Believe God will fill your heart with peace and happiness. I know this because it is what your wonderful husband would want for you.
Let us pray for you Dena, and lean on those prayers when the days are long and hard.
In Gods Love Dena,

Anonymous said...

Hello Dena:
Another message from someone whom you do not know nor do I know you but I have followed your story. I do not have an Army husband but I do have an Army son who is based out of Ft. Hood. He is deployed to Iraq for the 2nd time right now. I know how you must have worried for Rob and his safety. I do not know all of the military ways but I do think it was terrible the way they notified you of Rob being injured and all. I do support the Army strongly and hope they help you take care of things for you and your girls. I will keep praying for your family and hope that with each passing day things will get easier for you. I have seen your family pictures and its obvious how much you and Rob loved each other and how much he loved his girls. God Bless you all.

cary said...

Continued Prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dena -

Thank you for posting again, I have been wondering how you and the girls are doing. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of the harsh reality stuff at Ft Hood. There is no easy and painless way to deal with all of that business that has to be done. Somehow, you just push through it.
You know, there is no immediate need to figure out what to do with Rob's things. I love the idea of the quilt and teddy bears. When the time is right, you'll know what to hang on to and what to let go of. One thing that will never go are the good memories you have of your life with Rob.
Someone else mentioned on this thread that you have an Army of people who are out here for you. If there is anything we can do for you, just ask. No kidding, we are out here for you.

Carol Dzurenko

Tami said...


I can't imagine what you are going thru...I am so sorry about your loss. It is good to know that you have a great support group of family and friends. Thinking and praying for you...


Household6 said...


Selfishly, I am so glad you updated, you are always in my mind and I know the next several of weeks/months are going to be really hard. I know the reality of Rob's death is going to set in even more everyday. He wasn't my husband and I still say to Greg every day..."I just can't believe Rob's gone."

We are praying for you and the girls. Take your time getting rid of his things, you don't want to regret anything later, you'll know when the time is right.

The Spencers

P.S. Roll call is definitely the worst, I'm so, so sorry.

Heather said...

Dearest Dena,
These days are going to be extremely hard. It is okay to have all those different feelings. That is the grief process working through you. Each step you take is a step forward but you do not have to forget Rob. He is with you each and every day. He is with his beautiful girls, guiding them through their journey. I am so glad you can rely on your family and friends - they will be the rock that keeps you standing. Allow yourself time for YOU to mourn. Prayers continue to flow your way. Give your girls a hug for me.

Heather in Helena, MT

Heather said...

Dearest Dena,
These days are going to be extremely hard. It is okay to have all those different feelings. That is the grief process working through you. Each step you take is a step forward but you do not have to forget Rob. He is with you each and every day. He is with his beautiful girls, guiding them through their journey. I am so glad you can rely on your family and friends - they will be the rock that keeps you standing. Allow yourself time for YOU to mourn. Prayers continue to flow your way. Give your girls a hug for me.

Heather in Helena, MT

CyberPastor said...

We continue to pray for you and to pass your information on to others who are doing the same.

Jackie Cline said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers Dena. I am so happy that you have the love and support of your family surrounding you in Nebraska. You are an amazingly strong woman and with the help of those family members, your friends, God and Rob looking over you and the girls, I have no doubt you will raise them to be strong Christian women. I miss you! Love, Jackie Cline.

Rosie said...

Dena: I am not sure IF you are getting my emails or not.
I can't imagine what you are going through and will have to continue to go through in the months to come. Your feelings are what you should be feeling right now, please take care of yourself, and in time everything else will fall into place. There's no reason to rush things, and with the support and love of your family and friends this to will be a task that will be done. I pray often for you and the girls, everyone is wrapping their arms around you all with love and prayers. Someone once told me that a mother's place is never filled once she passes, but I still think it's the biggest void when a husband has passed. Thourgh all of this you have become a stronger woman, please continue to use your words to help us all through this difficult time. YOU are a pillar of strenght. MY thoughts and prayers are with you always.

Nancy said...

Dena- I am impressed with how transparent you are able to be in this journal- I know how hard it is to think the thoughts you are thinking, let alone to put them 'on paper'. It makes the whole thing so much more real I'm sure...

But I hope, in time it helps you heal some too.

I think about you around the clock, tear up a little, and then think about how proud I am of you for dealing with this the way you have. You are an inspiration and I know that you will continue to be an incredible Mother to your girls...

Get a massage. Take care of YOU. Love you.


brat said...


Feel what you feel - for YOU!

Listen to your heart - you will know what to do, and when, with every decision, every day. Listen...

I absolutely believe that Rob and his love will NEVER leave you. You will always know that Rob is with you - and your precious girls. That IS truly the way of love through all eternity. Lean on that love when you need to.

You and the girls will remain in my heart and prayers.

Always with love,

Brat (Canada)

Carol said...

Dena, I know I don't know what you are going thur.But I know that you are a very strong woman and you are and will continue to be a wonderful mother. Your family ther in Neb and the family you and Rob made in the army and also the family you made here will always have you and the girls in our prayers. Take time for your self and the girls. I love the idea of the quilt and the teddy bears. In time you will beable to look at them and to share with the girls what they daddy was about. Love Carol one of your family and freind from CO.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Dena,

No words can be said to relieve the pain of your loss. I can only pray that our awesome God literally carries you in this trying and painful time. My wife and I grieve with you and for you. May the Good Lord keep you and the girls in His arms and may He give you the strength to do what you need to do.
You are in our prayers daily.

1SG Steve Davis

Anonymous said...

OH I'm so so sorry! I have been following your blog daily now since Rob's passing. I don't know you personally but I feel through your blog that I do know you in a very personal way. My husband is Military and is going to Afghanistan in May of 09' I heard of your beautiful family through a friend that is also a military family! I can't even imagine your pain and saddness. You have shown such strength and I truely admire the woman you are. Your husband seemed like an amazing Man and soldier and I being a fellow Army spouse Thank You for his service and sacrifice. I don't know how you will come thru this very difficult time but I pray you will be stronger and I pray you know your loved even by a perfect stranger! I know that you will be a wonderful mother to your babies and they will be blessed to have had the time they did with their wonderful father! God Bless you and I will forever hold you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being so honest and open! May the lord be with you.

Anonymous said...

Dena, I continue to think of you daily and pray for you and your family. Thank you so much for continuing to share your thoughts, trials and tribulations. You are such an inspiration. Terri Haire

Long-time RN said...

Hi Dena,

So many emotions surfacing. You've been so busy and now the realities set in. Please don't be in a hurry to part with a lot of Rob's things. Take your time. The bear idea is wonderful. I have one made from a grandmother's old quilt and it is a comfort. You've been such a rock through the past weeks. Take care of yourself and those beautiful girls. We continue to keep your family in our prayers. We didn't even know Rob before this blog, and find it difficult accepting he is gone. Can't imagine all you're dealing with. Lifting prayers for continued strength and fortification. May God hold you in his hands and his special angel Rob be watching over all of you always.

Anonymous said...

I am another one of the complete strangers that is following your blog. I have checked it every day since the end of October. I also pray for you and the girls every day and believe that God will give you strength, even when you don't think you can make it. You have written such heartfelt words and emotions that I feel I know you. You have also shared with all of us what it is like to be a military family and serve your country. You are an inspiration! God bless,
Nancy Barber
Binghamton, NY

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the update; I can only imagine how hard it was to walk into that house and then go to the memorial. Keep your faith and you will be fine. Continuing our prayers . . .

Julie & James

Nicole Sampson said...

Dena, this is Nicole Sampson from Ft. Riley...I just heard the news from Jackie 2 days ago and I've read your whole blog today. Words cannot express my grief for you and your girls right now. I have such fond memories of you and Julia from Riley and the days you opened your home to me before I deployed. If you remember, Rob was deployed at that time and I often think of the Nebraska room that you remodled for him and how sweet that was and how much you two love each other. Congratulations on your baby, I remember that you were looking forward to having another...I have a 7 month old girl myself now. I just want you to know that I will be praying for you and the girls each day, and want to contribute any way that I can. My heart is overflowing for you right now, I don't know what to say. God is great and I'm so glad that you have such a great support system. I know this time of year will be difficult especially. I know it's been a while but at any time you would like to keep in touch, my email is I will be keeping up with your blog as well. Stay strong and God bless you, Dena.

Kim Decker said...


I have been thinking about you constantly this week. I am still grieving for Rob and trying to cope with the finality of his passing, but I am much more torn when I think of you and all of the coping that you have ahead of you. You mentioned a strange feeling of not realy being in the military anymore, after 8 1/2 years. Dena, you will ALWAYS be part of our military family, no matter what. You have earned the open arms, caring and affection of all of your Army family through all of the love and support that you gave Rob throughout his career.

When the Army said "time to move,"
ou said "I'll pack my bags."

When the Army said "time to train,"
You said "I'll keep dinner warm."

When the Army said "time to deploy,"
You said "I'll be strong"

When Rob's injuries said that you would have to raise your girls without him,
You said "I'm strong and I'll carry on."

For that, Dena, you will always be a part of our family. You have earned your place as an Army wife forever for your devotion to Rob, and your continued devotion, support and sacrifice in raising Julia and Eva and carrying on with your family life.

As always, we're here, only a phone call and short road trip away. We love you very much!

Kim Decker

Deborah said...


Please know that you continue to be in my thougths and prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Your faith in God and your strenght will get you through this. Thank you for your blog. It is good therapy for you and there are so many of us in Osceola that continue to pray for you.
Love, Mrs. Anderson (Bryce & Deb)
P.S. I hope Beau, Beth, and Christain made it home safely :) We're thinking of them, too.

Jess said...

Hi Dena - I'm another follower of your blog from Nebraska and you and your family have been in my prayers since Rob's injury. You have been an inspiration to so many, and even though I don't know you, from your words on your blog I have no doubt that you will keep your head held high and focus on your two amazing daughters that you and Rob created. I wish there were words to help you through this most difficult time. Keep your faith in the Lord and keep your friends and family close as they will be the rock you need to keep you going at times when you can't take it all on on your own. Rob was truly an American Hero. RIP CPT Robert Yllescas. You and your daughters have the best guardian angel ever.

Also, if you have some of Rob's favorite things that you want to keep I would recommend this website to you. They make memorial shadow boxes and they do great work. They are out of Papillion, NE.

God Bless ~ Jess from Lincoln

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for you and the girls. I've not lost my husband or one of my sons but I remember when my mom died the emptiness felt after the people were all gone (except for family, of course). My church will be holding you up in prayer also. I am so sorry for your loss. Words seem so inadequate to let you know what a hero you are to so many of us.
In Christ,
Diana Johnson (friend & co-worker of Bev)

Stacy said...

You are a STRONG woman and an AMAZING mommy. Your girls will need you to show them the way and I know that you will lead them in the right path. Together you will all grow and keep Rob's memories alive. You dedication to your faith and your family is plainly obvious.
You have some many people praying for you. You remain in my thoughts on a daily basis.
Stay Strong,

The Bender's said...

Girl, you continue to be so much to sooo many, even strangers. You take your time and know that all of us will be here in the days, years to come for you, your girls, your families. The wrapping of love for all of you is World-wide!

I am sure many echo my entries of....anything, anytime, anywhere...

We love you,
Karen and Craig

Anonymous said...

I have been following your husband's story and wanted to offer the condolences of my family. I am truly sorry for your loss. From what I have read, your husband was a wonderful man, husband and father.

Amy Frelly said...

Oh Dena, my heart breaks for you now but I rest in the knowledge that God indeed carries you through...and it's an honor to be able to pray for you all.

Jaime Pachta said...

Hi Dena,
I am glad that you made it back to Nebraska safely. We have been thinking of you a lot lately and hope that you are doing well. My heart aches for you and your little girls. You are a great mommy and I know that you and the girls are going to make Rob proud. (Even prouder than he already was.) :-) I also wanted to wish you a happy birthday in just a few days. (It's your 30th, right?) Anyways, I just want you to know that we will continue to pray for you. Make sure you are taking good care of yourself, lean on the support of others. Julia and Eva are lucky to have such an awesome mommy. :-) Take Care. Love, Dan, Jaime, Ashley, Nicolas, and Mitchell
P.S. Tell Aunt Bev "thank you" for mailing me Mitchell's hat and gloves. He definately needs them in this freezing cold weather!!

Anonymous said...


Hello my name is SSG Matthew Kinney. I am one of two flight medics that helped stablize your husband at the FST in order for him to make the flight to JAF, where he was flown with SGT Connaughton (the 2nd flight medic)to restablize him by the FST there. I was not there for the flight after he was stablized far forward on the way to JAF my crew followed close behind as we pulled the guts out of the aircraft in enroute to JAF. Then on he went to BAF to their FST. Your husband fought a good fight and he was a very strong man. I am very sorry for your loss. I wish and pray for you and your family that you will have only the best. You are a very strong woman and you will do well for your children. When things get tough just think keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know it might not seem like much but I use it. I am supposed to be asleep getting rest to pull 2nd up tomorrow pulling MEDEVAC Mission but Mrs. MaryAnn at Angels for Soldiers Germany got ahold of me and started talking about some patients and some of the news post or even blogs from Bella, Wanat, and others and then later she mentioned your husband and you. She even sent me the link to your blog. I can say it made me cry. You wont get that much out of me but I can tell you truely loved your husband and any man would hope to have a wife as strong and loving as you. I see the same qualities in my wife but she has not had to endure the burden that you have faced and still do. I thank your husband for serving his country because he felt it was his duty. Thank you for the support you showed him and your family, and thank you for sharing it with the world. I am sure it has and will help others who will go through the same things in the future. Take good care of your girls and yourself as Rob would want you to. May God bless you and keep you and your family safe and well taken care of. If you have any questions you can email me if you want.


SSG Matthew Kinney

Anonymous said...

Hi Dena - I saw your link on Nancy's site. I read your story and my heart goes out to you. I think its great you are using your situation as a witness to others by telling the world that you get your strength from God! I pray God will comfort you during this time, and just from reading your blog I have no doubt you will raise your girls to be Godly Christian women and that you will make sure Rob is honored & remembered. God Bless!
Kimberly Tenkley

Mitch and Vicki Coffin said...

Dear, dear Dena,
You so honestly and sincerely open up your heart. Your pain is raw and like none the rest of us can imagine. We say prayers to God to carry you through the moments, days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

When our son lost a friend through his service in the military, it was the other military families, especially the military wives, that gathered around Garrison's wife and protected and supported her. They are a strong and noble bunch, and I thank God for the sacrifices they, and their loved ones, are making on our behalf.

Allow yourself to feel your pain and as you so poignantly write, continue to breathe your faith, journal your feelings, and love the Father of us all who helps us through the valley of the shadow of death.

God's peace and as always, hugs and prayers,
Mitch and Vicki

Anonymous said...

Dena, I agree with you about the roll call. I think it is cruel for the family to have to sit through but it is tradition and you know how the military is about it's traditions. You have every right to feel anger. It is part of the grieving process. Don't be afraid to ask for a shoulder to cry on or help. You do not have to be strong 24/7. Just remember you have loads of friends out here. Call us and we will be there anytime,any place. Hugs,Cindy N.

Sara(Everingham)Noble said...

How hard it must have been to walk in to the house in Texas. I remember when my uncle died, hearing my aunt crying in the closet holding on to some clothes of his. It will be tough when you go to pack up the house when you move. I remember something from the funeral or blogs that Rob liked to spend time on the boat. Do you own a boat? One way you could remember Rob is to take a family trip on your anniversary with your family and take the boat out on the water. I know holidays, birthdays, and other important days that you and Rob shared will be tough (they are still tough for some in my family after 15 years). Just use those days not as sad days, but as days of celebration that God brought Rob into your lives and gave you two very beautiful girls. The roll call thing sucks and I know they do that type of thing for firemen too. I am not looking forward to the day when they do that for my husband when his time has come. If you ever need to talk to someone who has been through what you are, just let me know and I will get you in contact with my aunt.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/16/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

nacotaco said...

Hi Dena, we have never met either...I also have been following your blogs....I am so sorry ....your walk with Jesus encourages me.....thank you ...nancy

Anonymous said...

My condolences to you and your family for your loss. My prayers best wishes go out to you.

LTC Kevin Paul
University of Nebraska Class of 1989

Liz said...

Dena, Joe and I are constantly thinking of you. Miles separate us but you are never far from our hearts. We pray the house sells quickly and you and the girls can adjust to life back home.

razatimes said...

Hello Dena, I am Linda Garcia's husband. We are both friends of Rob's Mom and were in Oseola for the service last week. I attended my share of memorial services while doing time 'in country', back in 67. It seems that this military ritual, which when I was in the Army, begins every soldier's day, roll-call, is now part of present day memorial services.

In my way of thinking, each and every civilian who resides in the United States, should be made to stand at a roll call and be challenged to feel the loss, the emptiness, the abject pain of losing a member of one's Company.

I walked away from my military career after almost 3 years of service and for the past 40 years relied on professionals like Rob Yllescas, to maintain our freedom and engage in battle against our enemies. My scab was torn open when Linda and I had to stand by and watch our oldest son Che, leave to go into the war zone that continues to be Iraq. Recently, my God-child, Ronee, also answered the call of her Country. They both returned physically intact. Yet you can sense the pain that they both carry with them.

Dena, the way is clear to watch your girls grow up. To return to Oseola and resume your life. In the Spring, when this awful winter is over with, we will have all the women of the Yllescas Clan over our house for enchiladas!

This is a man's letter, from the perspective of a soldier, a father, a citizen. Soon, this stage of your life will become the fabric of your experience and will be able to use this fabric to weave a relevant, full and rich life in a Country that continues to rely on the sacrifices of our men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

Jose F. Garcia

Anonymous said...

Dena, we're still praying for all of you. Hang in there - God bless!

Pamela @ Frugal Vet Tech said...

Hearing that roll call would be so, so difficult. I would break down. Just reading about it broke my heart.

I'm praying for you and your girls, that you feel God's arms and peace wrapped around you as you continue on without Rob.

Army Wife said...

Dena, I am in Lincoln if you need anything.....