The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


January 07, 2009

Name: T.T. Carnehan
Posting date: 1/7/09
Deploying to: Afghanistan
Milblog: Long Warrior

I was going through some articles that were posted on a news service provided by the Defense Department, known as The Early Bird. It's a simple site that posts full articles from newspapers, wire services, and even television reports that deal with Defense-related topics. One was about a Company Commander in Kamdesh, Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan Province, replacing a Captain who was struck by an IED and evacuated from Afghanistan back to Walter Reed. After several long hard weeks of fighting at Walter Reed, the Captain passed away.

The name jumped off the page: Rob Yllescas. I knew him, not well, but knew him nonetheless. We worked
around each other in Iraq.  His wife, Dena, has a blog through which she's been keeping friends and family up to date with her struggle, Rob's recovery efforts, and now her coping. I remember him, for my part, as a high quality officer.That is to say he was energetic, focused, eminently capable, helpful, affable, and respectful. From what I saw, he treated all fairly and earned every one of the dear friends who have been sending his wife sympathy messages and were sending him recovery wishes. He, and all those like him, are forever missed; no peoples have an inexhaustible supply of his sort.

Dena, God bless you and your family. Rob, Godspeed.


I did not know Capt Yllescas but followed Dena's blog ciosely and hoped and prayed for Rob's recovery. It was very sad to read the entry informing readers of his passing. I came to learn a little bit about the Ylesscas family, the deep and true love Dena had for her husband, about their two little girls and mostly of Capt Yllescas' fine character.
Good of you to share a bit more about this good and noble soldier that you had known.
A nice tribute to a man who gave all.
RIP Capt. Thank you.

I wish YOU Godspeed

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