On Tuesday night, Bob Woodruff, ABC anchor of World News Tonight aired his terrific expose’ on the serious and mounting casualties sustained by our troops in the war in Iraq. While every day the news reports on the number of those killed, there has been very little attention, if any, to the horrendous number of troops seriously injured in the war.
Mr. Woodruff, himself, seriously wounded when the tank in which he was riding was hit by an explosive device, chronicled the serious consequences in human life from the war. According to government figures, first released to the public on Tuesday, Mr. Woodruff revealed that the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that over 150,000 of our American soldiers have sustained traumatic brain injuries. What was most significant was that many of these soldiers’ brain injuries have gone undiagnosed and untreated as many of these soldiers did not report their injuries, were not seen at field hospitals and at first appeared uninjured from blast injuries.
More concerning, coming on the heels of the exposure of the unsanitary conditions at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD where many of our soldiers are taken, was Mr. Woodruff’s report examining the substandard care that many of our soldiers are receiving on their return to the United States. The investigation demonstrated that after being released from military hospitals, too many soldiers are being sent home with inadequate support systems set up to provide needed and continued rehabilitation.
I was certainly glad to see that Mr. Woodruff has apparently made a wonderful recovery from these serious and life-threatening injuries. The public should not forget that not everyone receives the care that he was able to receive and that not everyone obtains the miraculous results that he apparently has received as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
I would like to personally thank Bob and his wife Lee for their outstanding commitment to help those less fortunate who have sustained traumatic brain injuries.