Instead of diplomacy, the other two networks concentrated on the personal side of the violence in Iraq. NBC's Robert Bazell continued his Wounds of War series, tracing how combat casualties are transferred from hospital to hospital once their condition is stabilized. His cameras showed the interior of the C-17 plane that has been retrofitted as a flying intensive care unit to transport constantly-monitored wounded from Balad in Iraq to Ramstein AFB in Germany.
But Bazell's vivid reporting was overshadowed by the two-part up-close-and-personal on ABC to preview correspondent Bob Woodruff's primetime special To Iraq and Back. First, anchor Gibson introduced A Closer Look at a home video compilation of Woodruff's 13-month convalescence from the near-lethal brain injury he suffered while covering the Iraq War for ABC. He was 36 days in a coma before regaining consciousness. He had to wear a helmet to protect his skull where the bone had been cut out. He had to relearn language. We saw him practice vocabulary with flip cards: "Shaver. Ball. Screw…screw…screwdriver."
Then the still-handsome Woodruff was interviewed by Gibson about the personal impact of his brush with death: "I have got a lot more love for my family and my kids…I just do not know why this has become such a miracle for me…I could see my body sort of floating right below me, floating around in a whiteness…There is no question I am filled with guilt…I realized what I had done to my family, that I blame myself for what I put them through…I am more in love with my wife than I even was before."
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