Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Journey Begins; Thanks to a New Media Pioneer

I'm about one-half hour into my six-hour ride on MegaBus from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. to cover the Medal of Honor presentation Monday to United States Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter at the White House. It's my first time traveling on MegaBus, and so far, I couldn't be happier. I'm seated on the upper level of the motorcoach at the very front. If it was daylight, the view would be great from this seat. The seat is comfortable, the temperature on-board isn't too cold, and I'm also seated right by the power outlets. There's free WiFi, but I'm opting to tether across my iPhone instead.

The one thing I'm not sure I'm going to get during this trip is much rest, but that's because I'm so keyed up for what I'm going to witness tomorrow and not any discomfort in the ride.

Late this afternoon I received - as promised - another email from the White House press office with more details about scheduling for tomorrow. FYI, the ceremony is going to begin at 2:10 PM Eastern, based on what I was told. I'm still in a bit of disbelief that someone at the White House thought my request to cover the ceremony had merit and that I'm actually on my way.

Part of me expected that I'd get another email, but it would be more to the effect of "we were joking" or "sorry, we reconsidered." I guess maybe it won't really become "real" until I'm admitted onto the grounds of the White House complex tomorrow.

As I was driving tonight to downtown Pittsburgh to pick up the bus, I was thinking about one man in particular who I never got to meet, but was a direct influence all the same that has put me on the course that has me on my way to the White House to cover a little piece of history.

That man was - and still is, as his inspiration lives on - Andrew Breitbart.

If you go back and watch some of Andrew's speeches, one point he always made was that citizen journalists - anybody who takes the time to write a blog, engage over social media, or simply use their smartphone to record pictures or video when news happens around them - can and do make a huge difference in our world.

Right now, I'm actually a little bit nervous as I've never really done what anybody could call reporting. Yes, I've done interviews to get primary source information back in college days when I was doing historical research, but this is different - especially so since this isn't my "day job". I really can't say enough how honored and blessed I feel to have been given this opportunity.

In closing now, I'd like to thank those who have already passed along their congratulations and well-wishes for this journey, especially HotAir's Ed Morrissey and Breitbart's Mary Chastain.

But most of all, I have to thank my wonderful wife Missy and my children Penny and Neil. The three of you are riding with me, and I love you all so very much.

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