Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friends Reunited

It's not often that one is deployed to a war alone and then have two of his best friends arrive on the same base a few months later, and one assigned to the same office! But that is what has happened to me in the last few days. After a tough week, not much could have been better than the arrival of Tommy Groves and Mark Walton, two of my closest friends in or out of the Navy.

Tommy Groves and I met two years ago when he was first commissioned in the Navy. I was assigned as his mentor to help him get situated and become familiarized with military life. We became very close friends through that experience and are now more like brothers. He is a producer for CNN's Larry King Live in his civilian job, and he brings excellent experience to our mission in Afghanistan.

Mark Walton has been a great friend since 2003, when we served together in San Diego. We hit it off immediately and became members of the social crowd that liked hit the town in San Diego on drill weekends. Mark's brother lives in DC, and whenever Mark comes to Washington, we hang out on U Street or Adams Morgan.

The tradition continues in Afghanistan. The three of us are working out together, going to social events at the embassy, and meeting for chai during the day. It makes my experience so much more meaningful to know that two of my best friends are serving right beside me. I have attached a photo from a couple days ago when the three of us met Katie Couric during her trip to Kabul to report for the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes.

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