Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bob Woodruff is the man

I couldn't tear myself away from the TV last night as I watched footage of ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff make his impressive 13-month recovery from a bomb injury that ripped off part of his skull while he was covering the Iraq war.

What makes the entire special so moving is that only part of it focuses on Woodruff's amazing recovery. The second half of the special is dedicated to America's treatment of injured soldiers — some of whom weren't as fortunate as Woodruff — and the widening gaps between the opinions of the Defense Department and the injured.

Example: The Department of Defense reports about 23,000 nonfatal battlefield casualties among about 1.5 million soldiers who have reported to Iraq and Afghanistan, but according to Woodruff, an internal document states that over 200,000 of these soldiers have sought medical care.

When Woodruff approached Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson with these figures -- including some 73,000 reports of mental disorders and about 61,000 nervous system diseases -- Nicholson began his response with “A lot of them come in for dental problems."

Think Progress has video of that awkward exchange here.

Last I checked, the worst root canal isn't quite comparable to Traumatic Brain Injury.

Anyway, the show is gripping. If you have 40 minutes, I highly recommend watching the entire ABC News special here.


K said...

OMG totally, that special was awesome. I basically live-blogged it through my tears. Woodruff's recovery is also nothing short of amazing given how devastating TBI can be. Thanks for the link to the show.