PORTLAND A new and very patriotic member of the Portland Trail Blazers had an extra special reason to be excited about Monday night s game on the Veterans Day holiday.

Blazers' center Meyers Leonard's older brother served in Afghanistan and was in the stands Monday, It was the first chance he s had to watch Leonard play in the NBA.

Before he [Meyers] reached the NBA, I d always have dreams of him playing (there) and now it s real, Bailey Leonard said, beaming. Veterans Day is an important day for me as well as every other veteran who will be here tonight.

The Leonard brothers have a special bond, which many fans learned about through a YouTube video that went viral last year.

More: Emotional reunion / YouTube video

Meyers was playing for the University of Illinois at the time and Bailey shocked him by showing up at practice while he was on a surprise leave from the military.

Bailey served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Meyers said his brother was always in his thoughts.

I would lay awake at night some nights and be worried about him. I was always thinking about him, Meyers said.

Bailey is no longer in active duty now and the brothers said they stay in touch through a bond that transcends sports.

Read or Share this story: