AFN to air special on newsman injured in Iraq
WASHINGTON — AFN will air an hourlong special this week on ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff’s injury and recovery from a roadside bomb attack in Iraq last year.
The report follows not only Woodruff’s 36-day coma and struggles with brain injuries but also the challenges other troops face with brain trauma resulted from combat wounds.
“This happens to soldiers and Marines every day over there,” he said in a Monday news conference. “Hopefully, knowing what happened to me and (my cameraman) can bring more attention to that.”
On Jan. 29, 2006, Woodruff was traveling with the Army’s Iraqi Assistance Group outside Baghdad when he and cameraman Doug Vogt were wounded in an attack on the patrol.
Both were rushed to a field hospital and then back to the United States, where Woodruff spent six weeks at Bethesda Naval Hospital recovering from his head injuries.
“I am standing here tonight because I got the best military and civilian medical care in the world,” Woodruff says at the opening of the special. “And, because I was very, very lucky.”
Woodruff said he remembers very little of the actual attack, a roadside bomb detonated once he and the patrolling troops exited their vehicles.
He needed months to fully recover his higher cognitive functions, and said he still has large memory gaps from that time. But he also said he is anxious to get back to work, and talked about returning to overseas correspondence work some day. ABC News officials said Woodruff will not be allowed back into Iraq, because his previous head injuries make him more susceptible to serious future injuries.
The special will air on AFN News Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. Baghdad time, and at 10:30 p.m. Kabul time.