Two kids with the same name, living in the same city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?
Wes Moore was born in 1978 and was three years old when his father, a respected radio and television host, died in front of him. His mother, hoping for a better future for her family, made great sacrifices to send Wes and his sisters to private school. Caught between two worlds—the affluence of his classmates and the struggles of his neighbors—Wes began to act out, succumbing to bad grades, suspensions, and delinquencies.
Despite his struggles, Wes graduated Phi Theta Kappa as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. At Johns Hopkins he was honored by the Maryland College Football Hall of Fame. He completed an MLitt in International Relations from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004.
Wes, also, paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the elite 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division in 2005–2006, spearheaded the American strategic support plan for the Afghan Reconciliation Program that unites former insurgents with the new Afghan Government and he is recognized as an authority on the rise and ramifications of radical Islamism in the Western Hemisphere. A White House Fellow from 2006–2007, Wes served as a Special Assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
*Biography and photograph from website The Other Wes Moore