A touching tribute to a Vietnam veteran in our own newsroom

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 18:32:31-05

It was a wet November day when Bibb told his mother about his answering the call of service.

"My mother was crying and there were tears which fell into the skillet of eggs and bacon that morning," said News 5 anchor Leon Bibb.

Tears from a mother, saying goodbye to her first born son. Leon was on his way into the unknown of the Vietnam War.

"Bibb. Leon D. U.S. 51828234, reporting for duty sir," recounted Bibb.

"He did what he needed to do and got out as fast as he could." said Marguerite Bibb, Leon's wife.

He dropped everything to head into war. The newlywed went right into training and a few months later, he was on the ground in Vietnam.

"I grabbed the arm rests and said to the solider seated next to me, "Damn!" He said, 'Yeah, welcome to Vietnam,'" said Bibb about his initial descent into the war torn country.

He was no longer on Glendale Avenue in Cleveland, he was at war.

"I was frightened for him, he was very brave though," said Leon's wife Marguerite.

Words from a silent solider fighting her own war back home.

"We stood together holding hands symbolically. She and I, as her man, was in the war and she was praying for my safe return and we thank God for that," Bibb said.

In those days, there was no phone call back home. Leon and Marguerite's first anniversary as a married couple was spent more than 8,500 miles apart.?

Their love, however, stood the test of time.

"I love him enough to have been with him for 50 years," said Marguerite.

Leon followed in the footsteps of his father; a veteran of World War II.

Leon's father has passed, but a part of him lives on with his son. He wears his father's cufflinks on special occasions.

"It is as if my father is holding my hand right now," Bibb said.

Fast forward to today. His weapon is his voice. His uniform is a suit. His reminder is worn every day just above his heart.

"He wears it proudly," said Marguerite. "He says that even though it was difficult being in the war, he wouldn't trade it for anything."

Between Leon and his wife, 11 men in their family have WWII veteran status. That includes both of their fathers.