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Documentary Not all About Woodruff

ABC may be advertising the Bob Woodruff documentary airing tomorrow as all about Bob, his tragedy and comeback, but Woodruff sees it as a chance to call attention to veterans and the care they’re getting — or not.

He calls the government to task in the hour-long show for not giving enough care to vets who aren’t in major metropolitan centers. Those who saw a preview today saw one vet improving under the care of specialists in a major military hospital — learning to speak and use the left side of his body — but deteriorating quickly back home in Texas without good medical help. (The VA told ABC it was a paperwork error.)

There’s also an accusation that the government is forbidding Defense Department personnel from talking about the gravity of the situation. From ABCNEWS.com’s website today: “While the U.S. Department of Defense says that there have been about 23,000 nonfatal battlefield casualties in Iraq, Woodruff discovers — through an internal VA report — that more than 200,000 veterans have sought medical care for various ailments, including more than 73,000 diagnoses for mental disorders.”

Woodruff says that as many as 150,000 of those who’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq could have brain problems because of the war. He talks to one soldier who fought for months to have the VA even acknowledge that his memory problems were likely related to Traumatic Brain Injury, the same injury Woodruff had.

Asked today if he felt odd, as a newsman, having the documentary focus so much on him, Woodruff said it was a chance to bring attention to the vets, what they and their families go through and the care they need. Woodruff also talked at length about his family and their support, his wife, his three brothers, his wife’s sisters, his four children — all of whom are prominently featured in the documentary. He said today that his first question upon waking from his coma was to ask about cameraman Doug Vogt (above with Woodruff), injured with Woodruff by the explosion in Iraq.

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