Sunday, July 3, 2011


This morning we received our update at 10:20. Seth was taken off the flight to Germany and sent back to the OR to be re-intubated (sp) because he was having trouble breathing on his own. Not what we wanted to hear. So we will have more days of simply waiting until we can get on that airplane to join him.

Some other updates. On Friday, we were led to believe that Seth was the only soldier injured in the explosion; however, we learned later that one other soldier was killed. It is difficult and troubling to feel so much grief for that family and so much relief that Seth is alive all at the same time.

People have asked me why we got wrong information to begin with. While I do not know, I will speculate. I know that the when something like this happens, the Army has to get the information to the families as soon as possible before they put the unit on a communications shut-down. This is for security reasons but also so the family doesn't learn about their soldier via another soldier's Facebook post, for example. My guess is that the med-evac or triage doctors apprised the situation early on to pass on to Fort Drum, and they probably want to give a worst-case scenario rather than a best-case to prevent having to pass on bad news, rather than good news, later on.

People have also asked if I know what happened. I can only speculate on that as well. I know that it was a buried IED and that Seth and his squad were on foot patrol. Often on these patrols the lead guy has a metal detector. Seth would most likely be right behind him because he is the machine-gunner for the squad. My guess is that the first guy took the brunt of the explosion with Seth close behind him.

I know that today there are hundreds of people fasting and praying for Seth. Thank you all.


  1. Sylvia, I am in Alabama at Fort Rucker where my son is stationed right now. We are so happy and sad that this happened and that he is alive and healing. We are praying for you and send our love. Carol Frog Ellertson and family

  2. Sylvia, I just heard about this. I'm so sorry. What a horrible thing to have happen but we're so grateful that Seth is still with us. We'll keep sending positive thoughts with lots of love and prayers your way. Love, Margo and Bob Denning

  3. Sylvia, I just wanted to let you know that Seth was in our prayers yesterday along with your family and all of his fellow soldiers that are in harm's way. As we sang "America the Beautiful" at church, I couldn't contain the tears through the words:

    O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife.
    Who more than self their country loved
    And mercy more than life!

    Seth's work and sacrifice have certainly shed a new poignancy on what it means to be patriotic on this holiday. We will be sending more prayers heavenward that you will be able to stay strong for him and that he will continue to heal.