Saturday, May 23, 2009

Making a Difference- Bob and Lee Woodruff

Bob Woodruff of ABC News succeeded the late Peter Jennings in the anchor chair of World News Tonight in January 2006.Later that same month, while covering the Iraq War with the 4th Infantry Division, Woodruff was severely injured by a roadside bomb and suffered brain injury. Also badly injured in the attack was cameraman Doug Vogt. Both were evacuated to the US Air Force Hospital at Balad for emergency surgery by a joint team of Army and Air Force medical personnel. Part of Woodruff's skull had to be removed to reduce the swelling of his brain.

Both men were moved to the US Army Medical Command hospital at Landsthul, Germany. Woodruff was moved to Bathesda Naval Hospital for recovery. he was kept in a medically induced coma for 36 days during his recovery. Upon regaining consciousness
Woodruff, who was fluent in several languages, suffered expressive aphasia- its a condition where words are disjointed, sentences become fragmented, and common words become difficult to remember. He struggled with this condition for more than a year.

Lee Woodruff, Bob's wife, remained close by his side during the difficult months that followed. In December, 2006 Lee appeared on GOOD MORNING AMERICA and told of Bob's project; he was putting together a documentary about his experiences of the past year, his injury and his recovery. In February, 2007 that documentary, To Iraq and Back; Bob Woodruff Reports was broadcast on ABC. He spoke of his recovery, and showcased the problems encountered by recovering Iraq veterans who had brain and other injuries.

Woodruff has since resumed regular contributions and reports to ABC NEWS. Lee and Bob Woodruff wrote and published In An Instant;A Family's Journey of Love and Healing.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation was founded with the following mission (from the BWF WEBSITE);

"The Bob Woodruff Foundation provides resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically."

"More than 1.65 million U.S. service members have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since September 11, 2001.

More than 35,000 service members have been physically wounded.

It is estimated that more than 320,000 have sustained traumatic brain injuries.

More than 300,000 have psychological wounds.

BWF works to support all injured service members with a special emphasis on the Hidden Injuries of War - Traumatic Brain Injury and Combat Stress. While the wounds of these injuries may not always be visible, their impact is felt long after a service member returns and their treatment is often the most costly and difficult to attain."

"We are ensuring that “Support Our Troops” is no longer a slogan. It’s an action. It is time to return the tremendous loyalty our brave men and women have shown to this country.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised over $6 million for injured service members.

In 2008, BWF funded $3.4 million in program spending which is estimated to impact approximately 516,000 service members, veterans, family members, and support personnel.

Through 52 grants to charitable organizations around the country, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has funded programs to reintegrate injured service members and assist their families with the transition."

"After Bob Woodruff was nearly killed in an improved explosive device (IED) attack in Iraq, he and his family had an opportunity to get to know so many of our nation’s injured heroes and their families. They realized their unique position to be a voice that could be heard in civilian and military cultures, across political lines and throughout our nation— a voice that would call for tangible support to assist our injured service members and their families. Thus, the Bob Woodruff Foundation was born.

In January of 2008, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) separated from the Brain Injury Association of America and became an independent 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization."

This Memorial Day weekend the BWF is using Tweet To Remind to raise $1.65 million, which symbolizes $1 for every person who has served since 9/11. They are asking for a donation of $5.25 from each donor on 5/25.
This is a most worthy cause- these men and women, and their families, need your help.

On the TWEET TO REMIND site the question is asked, "Who is your hero?".

I just wrote a few paragraphs about two of them.

Please give them a tweet and $5.25 at Tweet to ReMIND. there's more story and video there from Bob and from Lee.

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