Editor's note: "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" recently won eight National Headliner Awards. You can read more details here. Mike Mosher produced one of the stories, part of our "Making a Difference" series. The spot introduced viewers to Michael Reagan, a Vietnam vet who sketches portraits of servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can read and watch the award-winning story here.
Awards are special, but what really is overwhelming are thoughts like a note I received from a mother touched by Michael Reagan's work. I cannot stop looking at this photo of Cheryl Lee Patrick-Nussberger standing beside the portrait of her son Patrick. It's beautiful. And it's really true that pictures do tell stories words cannot begin to describe. I asked Cheryl to share the photo and the e-mail message she sent me after she heard about the National Headliner Award.
Dear Mr. Mosher,
Congratulations on the National Headliner Award for the George Lewis piece on "Making a Difference: Portraits of War" featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. I am the mother of fallen soldier SSG Patrick Lee Lybert, KIA 21 June 2006, Gowardesh, Afghanistan. Mr. Reagan gifted me with a sketch of my son. I cannot tell you the emotional impact. I am so happy the NBC News media family received recognition for spreading the word, giving attention to this wonderful man, and our fallen heroes. My son's portrait hangs central to our home, just past our main entrance. He watches over those coming and going, and I talk to him many times during the day as I walk by. Many tears, but much love.
Cheryl Lee Patrick-Nussberger
Mother of SSG Patrick Lee Lybert
3-71 CAV 10th MTN DIV
Since our story aired on Nightly News in Sept. 2006, Michael Reagan has drawn more than 170 additional portraits, pushing the total number in his Fallen Heroes gallery to more than 600. Reagan has an e-mail list and I indirectly meet so many wonderful people on it. It is truly a labor of love. He tries to draw two each day. Now that the word is getting out he's receiving lots of requests. But he promises to sketch them all and would love to hear from interested families. Click here to visit his Web site for more information.