Tiny Warriors

Avery warriors on.

A number of years ago Lance Armstrong introduced his foundation and almost immediately there were yellow bands on the wrists of people from all walks of life. Politicians, clergy, teachers, athletes, military – it seems that everywhere you looked you would see those yellow bands. I had been working at a bike shop and had followed Armstrong even before those bands came about, so naturally I was drawn to wear one. But my purpose of wearing that band was magnified by the loss of my Grandmother, who passed away after she had battled cancer. I wore that yellow band on my right wrist, never taking it off for 6 years, until just recently when I had to remove it due to an injury that will require surgery. I wore it to honor my Grandma, but also because I was inspired by Armstrong.   Like him or not, one must admit he is a warrior.

During the early days of our time in the NICU (I realize that to many people three weeks seems like a short time, but ask any NICU parent and I bet they would say that it is a lifetime.  And, it has proven to be one beautiful lifetime – Sienna’s) we met a couple whose son had just been through the same surgery that our girls were facing. On their wrists each wore a blue band and had vowed not to take it off until their son came home. Robin had a strong reaction and as soon as we got home began looking online to find a company to make bands for us.

Because I am a Marine (once a Marine always a Marine) and due to the fact that one of my closest friends (an absolute warrior) said that the first sight he had of the girls was them kicking and chopping into the air, Robin had inscribed on the inside of the bands, “Tiny Warriors.” This was to honor the spirit of the warrior – the warrior who refused to give up.  Joaquin has helped keep me going through this hard time, as have many others like him, and his motto is, “Never Quit!” So it was with my daughters, to whom he will always be an uncle rather than a close friend.

Today, Joaquin, Robin and I visited Arlington National Cemetery and made arrangements for Sienna’s memorial service. The service will be Friday, October 08 at 2:00 pm. I feel honored that due to my service in the Marine Corps I can be there when my days are done, and even more so that Sienna can be there. At that sacred place she will be protected and in the company of many of the finest men and women that the world has ever known.

Flowers outside the Columbarium

A fountain in the Columbarium at Arlington.

A distant view of the National Cathedral from the Columbarium

A view of the Washington Monument from the Columbarium

A white rose outside the Columbarium

More flowers and butterflies around the fountain at the Columbarium

The pink bands that were ordered arrived today and they are beautiful. People local to our area who wish to have one can text and stop by, and all others can notify us via email if you want some mailed to you. Robin and I will be wearing them until Avery Rose is home.   We ask that everyone who takes one at least carries it.  Please keep praying for our tiny warrior Avery and all of the other children who are in the fight of their lives.

Tiny Warrior Wristbands

Although we realize that the context of the humbling and breathtaking Trace Adkins song linked below is different because Sienna obviously never had the opportunity to serve her country, we hope that her story of strength will in some small way serve the people who do serve our country.  We are deeply honored that she is one of the chosen ones who will make it to Arlington.

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19 Responses to Tiny Warriors

  1. Suzanne Shutty says:

    Stay strong Avery as you’ve reached your third-week birthday! I look forward to visiting your sister Sienna often as I visit my grandparents who are also inurned in the Columbarium.

  2. Nancy says:

    You know the Musser Family would be honored to wear those pink bands! We love you and are following your journey every minute with prayers, positive thoughts and so much hope!

  3. Sharon Boisvert says:

    Robin and Quinn I haven’t been able to respond to your Journey for the last few days. I just did not know what to say. My prayers are with you everyday. I cry everday and wish I had the stength the two of you have and your little warrior. Please send one to me. I would be more than proud to wear one. If you don’t have my address let me know.

    My prayers are with you all every day.

    Love hugs and kisses for Avery and both of you.

  4. Tammy Tanner says:

    Hi guys…Let me introduce myself..I graduated in ’88 from WCHS. I also work with Carolyn Robinson–Robin’s cousin’s wife–I just wanted to say that I am keeping everyone in my thoughts and have mentioned you at my church. I read your blog daily and I cry at every one of them. If it is a bad day, I cry for you. If it is a good day, I cry to celebrate with you.

    I have also been keeping up on “Baby Layla” and all the kind encouraging words her dad has for you..i will also continue to keep them in my thoughts as well.

    May God bless and keep you.


  5. Medea Davis says:

    Hey Robin/Quintin could you send a few of those home. I don’t know how many you can spare but at least 2 most 5. I live with momma and Butch now so you know the address. Thank you and I will wear it proudly.

  6. Esther Rankin says:

    Robin and Quin,

    Just a note to let you know we are still praying every day for strength for the both of you and for healing for your precious Avery. We were so sorry to hear about little Sienna, but we know that the love you have for her and the memories you have of her short life will live in your hearts forever. God is still on the throne and is still able to perform miracles. Hopefully one day Avery will tell everyone she meets that she is one of God’s most special miracles, along with all the other babies in the NICU with her. Take care and remember “with God ALL things are possible ” !
    Esther, Joe and Juliann Rankin (Aunt Heidi’s sister)

  7. Mark & Carolyn says:

    Robin and Quinn~ We would be honored to wear a bracelet in honor or your girls~ Please know you are in our hearts and prayers~ I am so very proud of both of you ~your courage is an inspiration to us all~ Little Sienna will forever be in our hearts and Avery is in our prayers~Tiny for now but with Gods love and all the prayers Little Avery will someday show us all what a true warrior she truly is~Love and Prayers~ The Robinsons~Mark, Carolyn & Shane~take care and keep the FAITH~

  8. Diane Sheridan says:

    I was a NICU parent for seven weeks and one day, so I completely understand the life of a NICU parent and 3 weeks is a long time (for Sienna Grace, a lifetime). I often go back and look at her photo, she was so tiny but at the same time her features were perfect. She really was a warrior and truly deserves to be with other warriors in Arlington. She will live on forever in your hearts…she will continue to give you all the strength to get through the coming days and weeks until Avery is free from the wires and monitors. It’s been 30 years since Robin’s cousin Brooke was in the NICU so I understand what you are experiencing. Our love and prayers are with you daily. Robin, I sent you an email with my address so I can get the bracelets.

  9. Mike says:

    Hey Robin and Quin! I definitely would like to two bands if you have them to spare. I’m so glad that Avery is progressing and has been able to pass urine and poo, as NICU parents I know that the little thing’s like that to other parents may seem ordinary but it is such a wonderful feeling. I’m so glad you were able to change Avery’s diaper and I know you’ll have nothing but joy as that occurs more often. Praying for Avery each day!!

  10. Erin and Steven Shillingburg says:

    The Shillingburg family would be honored to wear the tiny worrier bands! Q if you could somehow get them to ALEX communications that would be great! our prayers are still being sent your way! That little Avery is such a fighter! praying for you all

    The Shillingburgs!

  11. Susan Mcmurray says:

    You know I would be proud to wear the band, but I will get one from you in person in a couple of weeks!

    What an honor that Sienna will rest in Arlington. It looks beautiful – a fitting place for your beautiful little angel.

    We continue to pray for your “tiny warrior”, Avery, and hope that each day brings her strength, growth, and healing rest. Much love from CA.

  12. Elisabeth says:

    We are continuing to pray for Avery to warrior-onward, and for strength for your family, and for peace for Sienna. As a child, I visited Arlington often. My parents lost a son before I was born, and I learned to love Arlington as a place of beauty and love while we visited his grave. It still brings me great comfort, and I pray that it will be a place of love and honor for you all.

  13. Brooke Dolobach Jenko says:

    Robin and Quin I’m so sorry sienna didn’t make it. As my mom said I was a warrior 30 years ago. sienna is an angel looking over us now. Please send bands to my mom for us and she will pass them along. Love Brooke

  14. Cindy Robinson Templeman says:

    Robin I would be honored to wear a band for your tiny warrior…..I continue to pray daily for all of you.

  15. Cathy Sotelo says:

    How do you get a wristband, I would be proud to wear one for these beautiful babies.

  16. Stella Harrison Melley says:

    Dear Robin and Quintin,

    I have just returned from being out of town for over 2 weeks and out of area for internet service. I just returned yesterday, and was told about the loss of your little loved one. My deepest sympathies, and big hugs to all of you.

    I am sending many many good vibes and prayers to Avery!

    As a mom myself this is so hard to read about, and so hard to understand, and I wish there was something I could do or say to help ease your pain, but please know I will be available to you as much as you may need. Do not hesitate to call me at any hour of the day/night.

    Hugs to all of you…especially little Avery!

    I would like to make a donation and wear your bracelet!

    Here’s to tiny warrior Avery, and all the tiny warriors in the world.

  17. Angel Roggenkamp says:

    that is my favorite song. I lost a lot of friends that were in Iraq. One of my best friends husband died there. This is our song we dedicated to him I am so happy Avery is doing great. And she is with the great ones that will protect her

  18. Cherie Detwiler says:

    Ooooh! I want two Tiny Warrior bands!!

  19. ganttst says:

    My godson was born 15 oz lighter to a young teenage girl (high school…). He went through the same processes.. and he was sent one almost a full month earlier than the intended (rest of proportioned gestation) stay! He will be 3 this upcoming March and has not had a single health issue. God is good to preemies.. I am SURE Avery will be in good hands.

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