It is not when he recounts arriving in Iraq in 2005, and being the sole occupant of a zeppelin-sized tent constructed to house 100 troops. Odd as it was to be living in a virtual Army ghost town set in the alien sand-and-rock landscape, Leady didn’t let the isolation get to him. He was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, an officer and reservist in the Army for more than a dozen years and a pragmatic guy by nature. The assignment was temporary, he had a job to do, and all the extra space wasn’t such a bad thing.
Neither did the pause occur because he was reliving some harrowing battle scene. Leady, an assistant teaching professor in finance at Mendoza, didn’t see combat. He was a logistics officer, stationed on a major base with 20,000 soldiers. He worked mostly in an office and felt about as safe as a person could in a war zone.
The question that caused pain to glass over his friendly gaze and choke off what had been a straightforward interview to that point was this: What was it like leaving your family?