Brooke Baldwin: I’m reporting on wars. He’s fighting in one

Or “What do you think of what’s going on in Chicago? I saw that video of that kid … Why did it take so long for police to release the video?”

Or “You’re on too many planes lately. Are you getting good sleep?? And how’s your love life??”

Nothing is off-limits with Rashad. Nothing. And that’s exactly the way I like it.

But on this night in our nation’s capital as I waited impatiently, my normally loquacious friend was no where to be found. I sat perplexed until my phone vibrated with a headline from — something about 10 American sailors being detained in Iran.

My mind raced back to my last message from him about going next to Bahrain. My heart sank. Could Rashad be one of those 10?

I wasted no time and immediately pinged his wife. Surely she would know. I waited, waited. Finally I was assured he was OK and not among the 10 sailors. Still, I wanted to hear from him. I still needed assurance he was okay.

Fast forward to the next morning. A Facebook message from Rashad: “Thanks for thinking of me. I am so tired and drained. I pulled each sailor on board our ship personally … This has been one of the longest two days of my career.” Incredible; Rashad was in the thick of it.

Of course he was.

Later that day, I had to go on air and report on precisely what my dear friend was so deeply engaged in — this dicey geopolitical scenario involving, of all counties, Iran.

Whether it’s U.S. military ops, terrorism or race relations, Rashad and my worlds continue to collide. I’m reporting on a world at war. He’s fighting in one. When I think about why I chose Rashad as one of the most inspirational people I know, it was easy. Rashad has taught me to always be open to a different perspective, to tell the stories of people who aren’t always listened to and to be fair.

As for our phone date, we will just reschedule. Rashad and I never let breaking news or world events get in our way (though in our worlds, that’s often one in the same). And that’s exactly the way I like it.

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