Old article about Uriah in the parade

So I never did get around to posting this.  Last fall was pretty hectic for me.  Anyway, here’s a link to the Journal article about Uriah being in the Apple Harvest Parade.  Click the image to go to the whole story.

Here’s the part about Uriah, though, for those who don’t want to link through.  It’s pretty cool, though, in that from the article title, and the first three paragraphs, you’d think it was all about Uriah.

MARTINSBURG – Like a wave traveling along the street, several thousand spectators lining the route of the 2011 Apple Harvest Grad Feature Parade in Martinsburg Saturday stood, applauded and cheered as U.S. Army Spc. Uriah Horst passed by.

The 21-year-old Martinsburg native was wounded on July 25 in Afghanistan when his unit of the 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne) was hit with rocket fire. Stationed at Forward Operating Base Andar, Horst was hit with shrapnel from one of the rocket explosions.

One young boy ran out to his car for an autograph. Horst dug for a pen in his fatigue pants to sign it.

That’s my bro.

Uriah is in the Apple Harvest Parade

Thought everyone would like a little update on Uriah.  He’s doing remarkably well.  So well, in fact, that he’s going to be in the upcoming Apple Harvest Parade this Saturday here in downtown Martinsburg!  Here’s the Journal article about it!

Soldier to Ride in Parade

Quilters Honor Uriah

This past Tuesday, I had the honor of watching my brother, Uriah, be presented with a Quilt of Valor from a local quilting group.

Look at that thing!  It’s beautiful!  You really need to see it in person to see just how nice and high-quality this quilt is.  The nice older lady standing on the left-side of the photo is Sue Moats, who presented the quilt to Uriah.  The Journal was actually present at this award ceremony and did a very nice write-up about it here:

Quilters honor soldier

As she has done with all the previous articles, Jenni Vincent did another great job with this one!  It was so nice to see Uriah on the front page of the Journal (above the fold, I might add) again.  If you’re reading this, Jenni, thank you from all of us.

Thank you, Silencerco

I had the privilege of delivering a care package to Uriah yesterday.  Now, this package wasn’t from friends or family, or even our church or another veteran’s organization.  This package was from an awesome suppressor manufacturer from out in Utah, Silencerco.  Let me set this up for you.

Back around the beginning of July of this year, Silencerco asked on their facebook page that if anyone was going to be doing any shooting with their suppressors over the holiday weekend, to take some pictures and then post them to their wall.  Well, I did end up going shooting with a buddy of mine, and took my 9Osprey with me.  I also decided that since I was going to post to Silencerco’s facebook wall with the pic, I should sport one of their shirts, too.  I chose the “Game Changer” model, which features the same phrase on the front of the shirt and has a vertical picture line-up on the back displaying images of “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Suppressed Pistol.”  Not long after changing my profile picture to display an action shot of me shooting… actually, here’s the pic.

The hearing protection was for everyone else shooting, not me.  I certainly don’t need hearing protection while shooting this pistol/suppressor combo.  Anyway, Uriah comments on my picture that he’s going to steal my shirt.  Fast forward to Uriah being in the hospital.  I shoot Josh (Silencerco CEO) a short email with a link to my blog about Uriah’s incident and ask if I could get another “game changer” t-shirt for him.  I got an email back within an hour saying they’d send me something for Uriah.  A few days later, I get a box in the mail from Silencerco.  I decide to not open it and instead let the contents be a surprise to both Uriah and me.

Josh, we can’t thank you and Silencerco enough.  You went above anything I expected!  Inside the box was a Silencerco hat, a sticker pack, some patches, and THREE Silencerco t-shirts, one of which was the “game changer” one that Uriah really wanted.  Let the pics below tell you what Uriah thought about this extremely thoughtful gift.

Josh, both I and my family thank you very much.  This really brightened Uriah’s day.  Silencerco’s customer service record has never been anything other than extraordinary, and I can assure you that you have made a customer out of me for LIFE.

Uriah is healing nicely

I know it’s been a while since my last update about my bro, but that’s because there really hasn’t been a whole lot to update on!  That’s a good thing.  Here’s the latest news about Uriah.

On Tuesday Uriah had his orthopedic surgery to pin the fractures in his femur and hip.  He was in surgery almost three times the estimated amount of time.  When he came out of surgery, the doctors told mom and Rhi that had Uriah been much older or in not as good condition as he was, his injuries would have required an entire hip replacement.  Just another way that God has been good to Uriah in this ordeal.  This surgery was pretty serious and required extensive repair to the major bones in his leg/hip area.

After the surgery, Uriah was running a fever.  The nurses came in and took blood cultures and found some bacteria.  Uriah has been being given antibiotics since then, and it seems to be helping.  We were assured that this is commonly found in wounds like his and that it’s no big deal.

Also on Tuesday the removed two of his fluid drain bulbs from his side, so now he’s just left with the new one for his leg/hip surgery and the one for his liver (which may come out soon, itself).  He doesn’t have any chest tubes anymore either.  He is VERY happy about that.  The doctors have been telling us how great Uriah is doing and how well he’s healing, so prayers are working, people!  Keep them up!

Uriah’s chest wound is healing nicely.  Stitches and scarred area look very good and are a nice color.  Since his leg surgery, he has actually started swinging his legs over the side of his bed and adjusting himself to be more comfortable.  Won’t be much longer and he’ll be mobile!

I just got a text message from mom saying that Uriah is currently on the phone with his unit in Afghanistan!  They called him to see how he was doing.  The keep passing him around to the different guys, including the medic that saved his life.  So far they’re up to like eight or nine guys, maybe more.  Apparently one of them told Uriah he really needed him back there in about 12 hours or so for his guard duty shift!  LOL

I’m going up to see him tomorrow with my sis, Lindsay, and my nieces, so that should be a fun trip.  He’s been asking me when I’m coming back up because he knows I’ve got a little something for him.  Haha.  Figures, he only wants me to come back because I’m bearing gifts!  Brat.  😉

We DO know that once he is done with all his surgeries and ready to start rehab, they’ll be moving him back to his home unit at Ft. Bragg, NC.  It made the most sense to have him up here at Bethesda for the time being because they have everything there he needed to get well again.  However, Bragg is more than equipped to handle his rehabilitation.  He’ll be transferred to a Warrior Transition Unit there, and that’s where he’ll stay until he’s discharged.  We’ll miss him, but it won’t be too long before we get to see him again.

Unsung Heroine

My brother, Uriah, has obviously been the focus of my blog posts over the past two weeks.  He’s the one we’re talking about in the tv interview.  He’s the one the newspapers are writing about.  While there may be passing mention of us family members, there is someone who really has done a very good job at staying out of the light.  Mostly, this is because, well, she doesn’t want to be in it.  Well, sorry Rhi, but today is your day.

Lots of people have told me how strong I am for keeping this blog and making sure everyone stays updated.  Well, I really feel that I’m able to be that strength for the family back home because YOU are being that strength up there at the hospital with my baby bro.  Throughout this whole ordeal, you have been a rock for Uriah and the rest of us, strong and steady in the face of massive adversity and with a daunting road ahead.  It’s been YOUR strength that is carrying us through this rough time.  And for that, we thank you.  Of course you know you’re not alone in all this, but we wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated.

We love you, Rhi.

Happy 21st birthday.

 

Keep prayers coming for Uriah

Well, Uriah isn’t out of the woods just yet.  I finally have some updated information for everyone.

Uriah did sustain a concussion in the original blast.  There was some suspicion that he may have suffered a concussion when he arrived at Bethesda.  After some examination, the doctor determined that Uriah may still be under the effects from the concussion.  The good news?  My little bro has a hard head!  😉

Last night mom informed me that during one of his follow-up test, a nurse discovered air building up outside of his damaged lung.  Of course, this was causing the lung to actually deflate, which is obviously bad.  After several intense (we won’t say “panicked”) minutes of nurses and doctors running in and out of the room tending to Uriah, the decision was made to install a new chest tube.  The doctors removed his original (larger) tube and added a new smaller one higher up on his chest to alleviate the pressure.  Uriah gets anxious whenever the doctors are removing something or putting something new in, so he was asking a lot of questions about his new tube, but was assured it would help him out.  He’ll be getting a new chest xray in a few hours to check the status of the air outside of his lung.  Hopefully it’s reducing in size.

Uriah still has blood clot in his right leg.  I didn’t mention this before because it was expected, post-surgery.  When it was discovered, they immediately removed his epidural (which was his primary source of pain relief) so there was no possible bleeding area and placed him on blood thinners.  The doctors are hoping it dissolves on its own and doesn’t break off and begin traveling.  Anyone who knows anything about blood clots can tell you that has the potential to be bad.  We, on the other hand, believe it will be just fine.  🙂

The doctors scheduled Uriah for surgery in morning to re-examine his liver.  They think there’s a spot not healing up properly and that it’s causing more drainage than normal.  The doctors are also deciding during this surgery to go ahead and go in and pin the two fractures in his leg.  Two birds with one surgery.

Otherwise, Uriah is doing well.  He got a chocolate milkshake the other evening.  It’s my understanding that he really enjoyed it, too.  Uriah is not, however, sleeping much.  He’ll get a few hours here or there, but his hearing seems to have amplified (I like to call it his super-power) since the blast, so every little noise that happens outside his room, he has been hearing.  He wakes up and just decides to stay awake.  I can tell he’s tired, though, so I ya’ll don’t mind, pray that my little bro GETS SOME SLEEP before I have to drive up there and knock him out myself!  Haha.  Kidding, of course… mostly.

I did received a very nice phone call this afternoon while I was at work.  The lady on the other end introduced herself as being from Senator Rockefeller‘s Martinsburg office.  We had a brief conversation where she told me that the senator’s office was following my blog and keeping up with Uriah’s story.  She asked if there was anything that Uriah, I, or our family needed and told me she thought it was very nice of me to be keeping this blog updated so regularly with information about my brother.  When I told her I couldn’t think of anything currently that we needed, she passed along her contact information there at the Martinsburg office, as well as making sure I had the contact information for the D.C. office.  I thought that was nice of her.  Then she asked if she could pass along my personal contact information directly to the senator should he want to contact me.  I, of course, said yes.  I’m sure Uriah will be pretty tickled to know that a U.S. Senator is keeping up with his story!  I can’t wait to tell him about it when I see him this weekend.

Now I need to edit some past information.  It was originally explained to us that Uriah was medevaced to somewhere called Bath, Afghanistan.  Well, guess what, I can’t find a “Bath, Afghanistan” and apparently what was originally said was “BAF, Afghanistan”, which stands for Bagram Air Field.  So, Uriah was flown to BAF, not Bath, which doesn’t, in fact, exist in Afghanistan.  He was at the air field, not the city.  That was a mis-communication from the very beginning.  Consider this the official correction.  Thank you.  We now return you to your regularly schedule Uriah updates.