ABC correspondent pushes for improved care for troops

13News Now Mike Gooding has the story

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- He's lucky to be alive, and now ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff wants to make sure American troops and vets get the medical care and support they need, just like he did.

Bob Woodruff was in town, at WHRO, promoting a program he's doing with PBS called "Military Medicine--Beyond the Battlefield."

Woodruff knows about the need first-hand.

While reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces for ABC's "World News Tonight,"in  2006, he was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, sustaining a traumatic brain injury nearly killed him.

Now he wants to make sure that America's injured heroes get access to the high level of support and resources they deserve, for as long as they need it.

"There's so much that needs to be done," he said. "I think there was a point where I think people within the V.A., the government and everybody in the country did not, they were not completely prepared for this, what happened in these wars, that they would last this long, and that the survival numbers would be so high."

 And Woodruff is happy to have a forum like PBS, to do this kind of reporting.

"It gives us a chance to do something really in depth and long form and on a topic that is important to me, the advancement of medicine within the military, so this is really big important story," he said.

The newsman hopes the message gets through to the powerful and influential.

"Congress, the more support, the better," he said.

For Third District representative Bobby Scott, who was on hand for a preview of the show, the message was received loud and clear.

"We're saving a lot of soldiers that otherwise would've died on the battlefield," he said  "But it also gives us an opportunity to recognize that we need to put more resources into the V.A., to make sure that all of our veterans get good health care. If we're going to provide the services, we need to have more resources at the V.A., more medical professionals, more facilities."

Woodruff's show, "Military Medicine--Beyond the Battlefield" premieres November 9th, at 10 p.m., on WHRO-TV.


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