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Tracy A. Woodward
Video Presentation
Tracy A. Woodward

Tracy Woodward was born in Riverside, Calif., but spent most of his youth in Mount Vernon, Va., just south of Washington, D.C. He was on track to be an accountant, studying at Northern Virginia Community College, when he discovered that photography was a lot more exciting. He landed his first full-time job at a local biweekly, followed by an adventurous three years with the Army Times, Navy Times and Air Force Times. "We went on every bomber, every aircraft carrier, every base all over the world," says Woodward. "Not a lot of money, but a good job." In 1991, he moved to the Washington Times, where he covered local news and also important stories in Asia, including one on North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. He joined The Post's Loudon County bureau in July 1997.

D-Day veteran John Polyniak of Baltimore was a 24-year-old Army sergeant when he waded, under fire, through waist high surf onto Omaha Beach, in the first wave of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France, June 6, 1944. Here, Polyniak walks among the tombstones at the Normandy American Military Cemetery, built on a bluff above Omaha Beach.

Tracy Woodward

The Cost of an American Education