I’m looking at a door just to the left of where this computer sits and there, hanging on the door hinge are press credentials from years and years of travel to Olympics, presidential trips, political conventions and breaking news stories where so many media converged, we needed press passes to gain access to the news makers. There’s one that catches my eye. The year was 2003, Leroy’s picture is on it and in big red letters it says ‘EMBEDDED 3-ID.’ He wore that every day from February 28th to April 28th as he made his way across the dessert and into Baghdad with the 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq. His team from ABC NEWS “Nightline” did incredible work over there and the experience changed his life. Every war and story of human conflict Leroy covered changed his life.
In this particular circumstance, he met a young soldier and the two would become close friends for the rest of Leroy’s life, even if that was for just five more years.
Fast forward now 11 years from that war experience and there I was sitting in a beautiful garden setting with the sun shining and the breeze just barely strong enough to nudge the blooming roses. That young soldier, now a veteran of many conflicts, was standing at attention, but this time he was waiting for his