(Let me finish yesterday’s mysterious partial posting…)
I’m looking at a door to the left of where this computer sits and there, hanging on the door hinge are press credentials from years of travel to Olympics, presidential trips, political events and breaking news stories that took both Leroy and me to many corners of the world. Sometimes we needed press passes to gain access to the news makers.
There’s one that catches my attention. It’s from 2003 and Leroy’s picture is on it and in big red letters it says “EMBEDDED 3-ID”
He wore that ID 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 who would become a life long friend. Even if Leroy’s life ended in 2008, these two were like brothers up until that time.
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 bride to walk down the iris lined walkway where they would join hands and become husband and wife.
There they were thinking about what was to come: a future full of making memories together. Wars and conflict had no part in this celebration. It was all about this beautiful day and their future together.
I was in the moment too, but it pulled be back to the past and pictures of the tanks and Humvee’s rolling over the dusty dessert floor. I see this brave soldier and Leroy side by side dressed in camo gear, not thinking about brides and roses and garden settings, but what might be waiting just over that next bridge.
I’m here at this wedding because of their friendship.
I come to this garden with that friendship in my heart. These two men embedded for life.