I interviewed a soldier who received the Medal of Honor, Sgt. Leroy Petry. When you prepare for an interview like that, you're going to meet somebody who was practically killed in battle, and you feel a little intimidated.
He told me his story, which I'm sure he's told hundreds of times, but it's certainly worth hearing. His company of Army Rangers were trying to take an enemy compound in Afghanistan. And of course, they were ambushed. The guns opened up, he was hit by a bullet, he and his group were knocked to the ground by a grenade. And then, as he's lying there in the dirt, he sees another grenade bouncing just a foot or so away. And that one would've finished them all off had he not grabbed it and flung it as hard as he could even as it exploded in his hand.
He lost his hand; he lost part of his arm. As he told me this story, he said he didn't feel anything, just that he had to do something to protect his buddies. So, with his remaining hand, he tied a tourniquet around his injured arm, called for help, and he got them out of there.
Most of us will never be tested in that way. I have no idea how I'd react, you have no idea how you'd react, even if you'd be able to go on with the rest of your life. When I met Sgt. Petry, he had a big smile, he was happy to shake my hand with his new mechanical one.
He's still in the Army today. He counsels families that get the same news his parents did the day he was injured. He ended his interview with me with a request for when you meet somebody in uniform. You usually say, "Thank you for your service." That's kind of a timeworn phrase now. Sgt. Petry told me that a little thumbs up is a good way to know you understand the price they're willing to pay.
Is your job at stake?
Dave Ross | May 27, 2015 6:20 amCongress is debating the Trans Pacific Partnership. Could it result in lost or gained jobs for America?
Seattle takes another shot at public toilets
Dave Ross | May 26, 2015 9:31 amSeattle is going to get a stand-alone public toilet in Pioneer Square. Exactly one.
You are what you slurp
Dave Ross | May 26, 2015 6:44 amA nutritional drink called "Soylent" has tech workers slurping and working.
Face-to-face with the enemy
Dave Ross | May 24, 2015 10:41 pmFred Shiosaki, 91, will be part of a Memorial Day observance at his assisted living residence in Seattle. He's one of the happiest people you'll meet, but there is one memory from the war that keeps coming back.
What to do with the flying postman
Dave Ross | May 22, 2015 6:20 amThe man who flew a gyrocopter to the nation's capitol in a statement on government finance now faces charges for the flight.
A generation that is addicted to their smartphones
Dave Ross | May 21, 2015 5:37 amWe have a generation of smartphone addicts. How do we stop them from killing us while driving on the road?
Your highway dollars at rest
Dave Ross | May 20, 2015 6:34 amCongress still has not been able to pass an updated transportation bill. But one representative promotes a 1.7 cent gas tax increase.
Call them what they are
Dave Ross | May 19, 2015 6:22 amThe Waco biker shootout came as not surprise to one biker-gang watchdog. And he says this isn't over.
Is your attention span shorter than that of a goldfish?
Dave Ross | May 18, 2015 6:18 amLast week's viral science story was about a research experiment showing smart phones have shrunk human attention spans to "shorter than the attention span of a goldfish."
A stupid question
Dave Ross | May 15, 2015 6:38 amRepublican and House Speaker John Boehner responds to questions why the house cut Amtrak funding the day after the Philadelphia train crash.
Dave Ross | May 14, 2015 6:25 amMaybe Congress will be shamed into investing in railways, before they sabotage themselves.
The best way to help the poor
Dave Ross | May 13, 2015 6:36 amWhat's the best way to help poor people: creating government programs, or building character? President Obama and conservative author Arthur Brooks discuss.
It's not whether you believe but how strongly
Dave Ross | May 12, 2015 3:30 pmThe important question today is not so much what people believe, but how intense those beliefs are.
Outdated transportation infrastructure, Panama Canal challenges for Tacoma economy
Richard D. Oxley | May 12, 2015 12:10 pmThe U.S. Open is expected to draw spectators and more to the Tacoma area, with money to spend. But to spend that money, they have to be able to get there.
Talk about inequality
Dave Ross | May 12, 2015 6:08 amTom Brady has been suspended from four games in the wake of Deflategate. But that is not the whole story. There's more inequality stemming from Brady.