Greetings! You are reading an article from The Mudville Gazette. To reach the front page, with all the latest news and views, click the logo above or "main" below. Thanks for stopping by!
December 2, 2008
Excerpts from a LifeBy Greyhawk
Since I just started this blog, the following entry will be pretty long, so just bear with me. I want to get you caught up with the events that have happened in the past few days. I will update this site as frequently as I can.
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.Nov 10:
Then as Rob received his Purple Heart, it was a completely bittersweet moment. So many emotions ran through me. I was desperately trying to wake him up. I felt like getting sick. Although this award is an honor, it's one I wish my husband NEVER had to receive. I feel so bad that we wasn't awake for it. President Bush was the person who awarded it to him. When he walked into the room, he gave me a huge hug. He had tears in his eyes and told me he was so sorry. He just kept hugging me.Nov 11:
As it does for many of you, Veteran's Day takes on a different tune for me this year. Living the military life and being around military families constantly, it's easy to forget the danger and sacrifice the military endure. We live our lives day in and day out and chalk it up as "This is my husband's job." What you don't take into account (and maybe this is a coping mechanism) is that when they are on foreign soil, there are people out there who hate America and what we stand for. It's not until something like this affects our family directly do you truly realize how amazing and selfless our military men and women are. Rob would often tell me, "This is just my job. I chose to do this." This is true. He felt very strong about his reasons for being deployed. But, if it weren't for Rob and all those other men and women, I would not be able to so freely write about our experiences on this blogNov 13:
This morning I was getting ready to go to the hospital to see Rob when I got a phone call from ICU. They said that Rob had had quite a bit of bleeding from his lower extremities and they were taking him to emergency surgery. I gave my consent for surgery over the phone so they could take him right away.Nov 16:
First of all, Rob is out of surgery. We have not got a chance to see him yet because they are currently doing a CT scan on him. So, I don't have any updates on him yet. However, this morning when we were waiting in the waiting room, my mom got a terrible phone call. My 2 uncles and their wives were in a horrible car accident this morning in Kansas City.Nov 16:
Ok, first of all I want everyone to know that I got word that my aunts and uncles will be fine. A few of them have several broken bones but they will all be ok.Nov 17:
Rob is out of surgery. Everything went well. They cleaned his leg wounds and debrised some dead tissue/skin from his legs. Before the surgery, there was talk of putting the wound vacs back on but they decided not to do it and continue with the wet to dry dressing changes for now. The plan for Wednesday is to take him back to surgery...Nov 19:
This morning they took Rob to surgery at 8... We got word around 4:30 that Rob was finally out of surgery and back in his room. The doctor said they were able to close his left leg amputation. They are going to take him back to surgery on Friday to do the right leg.Nov 20:
I went to the hospital to see Rob and brought my laptop. I had downloaded a bunch of songs that reminded me of him and I. I also had a slide show playing with all our pictures. I put it on the bedside table in front of him and turned it on. When the songs started playing, tears began to trickle down his cheeks. He never took his eyes off of me. I couldn't help but cry too. You're mourning the past, present, and unknown of the future. I've never loved my husband more than I did at that exact moment...Nov 21:
Today Rob went to surgery bright and early. While he was in surgery, Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith came and saw us. It was great visiting with him. After he left, Col Wesley came. Col Wesley is an amazing person. He was Rob's old Battalion Commander when Rob deployed out of Ft Riley to Iraq from 2005-2006. Rob has the upmost respect for him. It was so WONDERFUL seeing him and spending time with him.Nov 24:
Well, Rob did not get skin grafts today. I guess the plastic surgeon wants to wait until his bili is down more because he's afraid that they won't take otherwise.Nov 25:
Wow. It's hard to believe it was 4 weeks ago today that the attack happened. The days have just blended into eachother. Steps forward. Steps back. Fear, excitement, anxiety, happiness, tears. So many emotions. On this rollercoaster ride of recovery and emotions is easy to lose sight of the fact that it's ONLY BEEN 4 WEEKS. Today Rob had Occupational Therapy.Nov 26:
Today Rob had another surgery to look at his legs.Nov 27:
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. We had a nice dinner at the Fisher House. A family provided us with a wonderful meal.Nov 28:
I'd have to say Rob had a pretty good day. He had surgery this morning.Nov 29:
A little while ago I had to make the toughest decision of my life. They found a huge blood clot in the main part of Rob's brain. I could either let it be and let him die a peaceful death or I could choose to do an emergency craniotomy on him...Nov 29:
Rob made it through the surgery and tolerated it very well.Dec 1:
Well, today Rob went to be with the Lord. Last night his ICP's went really high and they took him for another CT scan. The scan results were devastating. So, we decided to let him go Home. He went very painlessly and quickly. I don't know when his funeral will be but it will be in Nebraska in my hometown. I will let you all know the details when I get them. Thank so all so much for the thousands of prayers you sent for my husband. We now have an angel looking over us.
'American hero' Rob Yllescas dies from war injuriesHe married a hero, too. The above excerpts are from the blog she kept throughout his hospitalization. You can read the complete entries and leave condolences here.
Posted by Greyhawk / December 2, 2008 12:48 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com