Remembering Bloom

Sunday afternoon I was in the bedroom sorting laundry when I turned on the television. I saw the familiar sight of David Bloom atop his tank recovery vehicle and listened in. I always looked forward to his reports.
But he wasn’t talking. Someone was talking about him. In the past tense.
I was so sad. It took me a while to figure out why. I didn’t know David Bloom, had never met David Bloom. I hadn’t even really followed his career until the war.
But his reports from Iraq were stunning. Not only the technological marvel that allowed him to file the reports, but the excellent reporting itself. He always had such a down-to-earth demeanor. He wasn’t world-famous self-important David Bloom. He was a reporter who wanted to tell you what was happening with these guys and girls he was with. He would pass his headset to a soldier so the soldier could communicate with his family, or simply mention a soldier’s name who might be standing nearby so family watching at home could see their loved one was okay. When I watched, it wasn’t “I’m being blown around by the sand,” it was “these guys and girls are getting blown around by the sand.” I know he was working with photographer Craig White – not because I had special inside knowledge, but because Bloom would say his name all the time as if acknowledging this was a team report and not just David Bloom in all his glory.
I wonder if he was tired or scared. At the same time, I know he had to have been thrilled to cover the story of his lifetime.
I am sad because he was building an amazing future. He’d already “made it” in the business, but he was taking himself and his work to another level. I’m sad because his family has to suffer through the pain of loss, and the inevitable questions of “why?” and “was it worth it?”
I also feel the loss because he was a reporter. But I am proud, too. Today I spoke with a soldier’s family, and they talked of how much his reports had meant to them. They talked of wanting Bloom’s family to know how much they appreciated Bloom and his dedication. It restored some of my faith that sometimes you can help people in this business.
I will try to learn a lot from David Bloom.