Skip to comments.Bob Woodruff visits Fort Hood with his wife, meets Soldiers who saved his life
Posted on 05/18/2007 2:09:21 PM PDT by Zakeet
When Lee Woodruffs husband departed for Iraq, the thoughts that began creeping into her mind are all too familiar to Army spouses.
Since Daniel Pearl, no journalists wife feels safe, she said, referring to the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded in early 2002 while covering the war on terrorism.
Her husband, Bob, who anchored ABCs World News Tonight, was embedded with the 4th Infantry Divisions 1st Brigade Combat Team in Baghdad when a roadside bomb explosion seriously injured him. The president of ABC news called and told her what happened.
I certainly remember my own feelings of despair and not knowing what life would be like in the future, she said May 15 during a visit with her husband to the Clear Creek Post Exchange to sign copies of their book, In an Instant.
She was surprised by how military wives reached out and rallied around her to comfort her. She was impressed by the support network the wives had and that they cared about her, even though she wasnt an Army wife herself.
It was a little out of my element, she said. They felt so loving in an official way. They have a structure for this. It was really touching.
She now reaches out to military spouses who are struggling like she was. She and her husband often visit the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and the couple has started the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury to help wounded troops reintegrate during and after their recovery.
Bob Woodruff, who continues to report for World News Tonight, has done projects about traumatic brain injuries, which is what he suffered after shrapnel pierced his skull, neck and chest. Woodruff, who was in a coma for 36 days after the explosion, said his reporting does bring awareness to the plight of troops with traumatic brain injuries but is not advocacy.
Its not political, he said. I believe the people who have gone (to Iraq) need to be treated as best as possible. Its not advocacy. It just makes sense. And you are not going to find anyone, really, who disagrees.
Speculation abounded about whether Woodruff would recover and whether he would return to the anchors seat he took over for Peter Jennings. Woodruff didnt really think about his recovery because he honestly didnt know how badly he was hurt.
Its been kind of a surprise, he said.
After signing books for a crowd of people who patiently waited through the Woodruffs being stuck in traffic for an hour and then being corralled by the local media immediately after arriving at the PX, Woodruff met one of the pilots who flew him to safety after the explosion and several Soldiers who were with him during the incident.
Its a good feeling to know hes OK, said Staff Sgt. Elijah Deaton, who was with Bob Woodruff when the explosion happened. I saw him on the ground and thought he was dead.
Staff Sgt. Shane Pollock, the flight medic who took care of Woodruff was unable to attend his visit because of a Family emergency, but his roommate in Iraq came to give his regards to Woodruff.
Sgt. Jeff Jones, a flight medic and Pollocks Iraq roommate, said Pollock spoke of that day and was proud he helped.
He was saddened because it was a very serious injury, Jones said. But he was excited he got to do a high-visibility mission. But, to be honest, we treat everyone the same. If they need help, were going to help them.
Jones gave Pollocks phone number to Woodruff in hopes he would call his friend. He hopes the two can meet again some day because he knows the satisfaction of seeing someone hes helped to save.
Ive bumped into guys Ive helped, Jones said. Its hard to see guys on crutches or without skin, but its good to see them again. We (flight medics) hate that we have to do our job, but we love what we do.
Woodruff also met with Col. James Pasquarette, commander of the 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. It was the first time the two had seen each other since meeting in Iraq for Woodruffs report.
An update on the newsreader's condition written by my newspaper reporter daughter.
Good story, thx for the post.
Your daughter did a great job.
Am in middle of reading his/her book.....guy has lots of
good old guts...had a lot of people who helped him
through a horrendouts head injury... (small pebble went
through his left side of face and lodged in the face
on right side}...heckuva operation to remove..besides all the other setbacks...JK
I’m glad the communist is safe and sound. Good for him.
I don’t know enough about the guy to concur, but it illustrates the amazing thing about our soldiers; that they are willing to fight and die so that the communist can speak out against them.
Proud to be your ‘daughter’ and vice versa, no doubt. Good story here and good to see Bob Woodruff saying ‘Thanks’.