Monday, January 26, 2009

Hunter Levine- Hero

PFC Hunter Levine is 21 years old and hails from The Woodlands, TX.
He was wounded on 9 May, 2008 while conducting combat operations in East Baghdad. He received a very serious injury to his face, resulting in the loss of his entire bone structure, mouth, nose, and vision.
He was evacuated to Walter Reed Hospital where the doctors performed numerous surgeries to repair his face. He received his Purple Heart at Walter Reed in June with his father, Beau, by his side.
Hunter was then transferred to a VA hospital in Palo Alto, where the best care for his vision would be available. He is a true fighter with a heart of gold. Although his wounds on the outside may look bad, they may never compare with the wounds he has on the inside. The reality is that he still has a long road to recover and may never see again. This young man has everything to live for and is a true inspiration. He is exactly the kind of person we would all want in a brother, son, or friend.
Hearts for Hunter was created to make sure that Hunter has what HE needs to successfully begin his road to recovery.
Our friend Gunny forwarded this note from Hunters father today-
Several have asked about Hunter, his Dad emailed me saying he’s doing as well as can be expected. I know he has the Army will to complete his mission.

Hunter lost his left eye during battle in Bagdad. His right eye was also damaged and he does not have any usable vision(no light perception).
Maybe technology in the future will be able to restore his vision
Beau LeVine
A Proud ARMY Father of a U.S.Soldier
PFC Hunter LeVine

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meet Cpl. Steven Schultz, Retired

U.S. Marine Corporal Steven Schulz grew up playing baseball, football, piano and was a Boy Scout.
After 9/11, Steven entered the Marine Corp because he wanted to make a difference. He did two tours of duty in Iraq and on April 19, 2005, he was hit by an IED, leaving him with a severe traumatic brain injury. His parents immediately rushed to his side...and his mother, Debbie, quit teaching to stay by his side night and day.
This was particularly difficult for the Schulz family who had two children still at home and it was a team effort to support Steven’s recovery. Elaine (18) and Clay (15) both accepted that Mom and Dad would miss the majority of their high school activities...and did so without complaint.
The financial strain of caring for Steven full time, changing his bandages, reading to him, trying to stimulate his brain took its toll on the Schulz family. They were forced to rely on family and friends to help with finances.

This very brave young man now stood a fighting chance for recovery because of all the sacrifices his family made for him. Steven first came home in a wheelchair, barely able to communicate at all. After a year of rehab, he finally took his first step. The support his family gave encouragement to him to keep fighting for each step of progress.
Today, Steven is able to communicate, though clearly still having difficulty with basic care. “My dream is to work, find a wife, and have kids - like a normal person,” said Steven.
I visited Steven today, 22 January 2009. He is a typical Marine, talking about his buddies in his unit.
What Steven does not have are buddies here in the Friendswood Texas area, from the internet, from around the world! His business card at the head of this letter has his phone and email, please drop him a line or call him.
Once a Marine, always a Marine! Marines DO take care of their own!

OFS Staff Note:
This was sent to be by my friend Robert Hiles,
Contact Gunny if you would like to contact Steven -

A note received from Gunny today-
I spoke to Stevens mother a short time ago regarding what he would like in a care package as several have asked about (Valentine Cards) as well as-

· Marine Corps books or magazines, preferably LARGE type font, he’s blind in one eye and has vision problems in the other.
· Automobile magazines or books.
· Joke books or funny and amusing literature.

I have some Marine Corps memorabilia getting dusty on my shelves I will take over, we live maybe 5 miles apart.

Phone calls, emails, cards, anything to help occupy his time. But most of all, friends, buddies.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Capt. Robert J. Yllescas and Family

One of the ways I have dealt with the loss of my son is to read soldiers blogs, soldiers who are presently deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Kyle deeply cared about his battle buddies, and I feel comfort in reading their words. They remind me that I am reading the words of genuine, 110% American Heroes. I respect their thoughts, observations and passion.

Today I read a blog by T.T. Carnehand. It was a tribute to Capt. Robert J. Yllescas, who died Dec. 1 at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. of wounds suffered Oct. 28 when an improvised explosive detonated near his unit at Camp Outpost Keating, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 6th Sqaudron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Hood, Texas.

Carnehand referred to a blog maintained by Capt. Yllesca's wife Dena. I went to her blog and read every word. My words can not express my respect for the Yllescas family. I encourage anyone reading this to visit the blog at

T.T. Carnehand blog at
Other soldiers blogs

A memorial page has been established on
It was my honor to do so, God Bless the Yllescas family.