Today’s adventures started with an Uber to the Heritage Foundation in downtown D.C. We came to film a book panel/discussion about veterans with disabilities.

The panel consisted of one of the authors, a moderator and a few wounded veterans. Leslie Smith was one of those veterans.

We interviewed Leslie back in July during our shoot for Canines for Service. CFS rescues dogs from kill shelters and trains them to be service animals for veterans with both visible and invisible wounds. If you have the pleasure of meeting Leslie, then you undoubtedly have the pleasure of meeting her service dog, Issac.

He got to take it a little easy while Mom sat and spoke at the panel.

Before coming into each other’s lives, both Leslie and Issac were given 24 hours to live. It’s quite the contrast to their lives today. Issac was on the euthanasia list, when CFS rescued him just in time. Leslie lost her leg and all but about five percent of her eyesight as a result of her Army service in Bosnia. As she was introduced in today’s panel, the moderator said this kind of tragedy would have crushed most people. I think he’s right. He went on to say that instead, Leslie took this as a mandate to help others in a similar position, advocating on behalf of veterans all over the country.

“That is the true definition of leadership,” he said. Again, I couldn’t agree more.

We also got the long-awaited chance to do this shoot with the Click & Pledge Foundation CEO, Shirin Zohdi. She’s pictured above to my left. Shirin joined us from her home in Maryland.

We chatted for nearly an hour with Leslie after the panel. There are some people I feel like I could talk to for days straight. Leslie is one of those people. Her story, coupled with her fierce but gentle personality, make for a captivating combination.

Then, after an afternoon break, Ali and I were back at it for some sunset/night video at some of the most noted landmarks around the District.

There’s something so peaceful, yet energizing, about these monuments and landmarks all lit up. The gorgeous scenery is so relaxing. Each place was teeming with people enjoying these views. There’s no place quite like it.