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I was born in Indiana, but I grew up a Florida kid in Merritt Island, near Cocoa Beach on Florida's Space Coast.

Since graduating from the University of Florida, I've lived all over the Sunshine State, reporting news in Central Florida, the Sarasota-Bradenton area, and Jacksonville before coming to Tampa Bay in 2008. I've covered NASA and America's space program since 1998 and military affairs since 2005.

I've been honored with three regional Emmy awards, including one for my series on Tampa Bay's history called "Why Do They Call It That?" -- plus 20 Associated Press awards and a Combat Cross for bravery under fire from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. I'm also a proud Eagle Scout.

When not at work, I love hanging in the afternoon with my young son, watching the Florida Gators play, and visiting the Tampa Bay History Center.

For me, the magic of Tampa Bay comes from the amazing work of the incredible blend of people who've lived here. With Indians, ranchers, explorers, World War II pilots, shady land salesmen, cigar makers, and more -- this place has enchanted so many for so long, it's easy to love.

E-mail Grayson

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