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Friday, 08 August 2014 11:37

Journalist Bob Woodruff To Be Honored In Saratoga

By | News

- Work With Returning Veterans To Be Exalted By Mental Health Foundation


SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Mental Health Foundation will honor award-winning TV journalist Bob Woodruff at its annual ‘August Evening in Saratoga,’ on Monday, August 18 at the Saratoga National Golf Course.


Woodruff, whose miraculous recovery from traumatic brain injury suffered while on assignment for ABC-TV in Iraq in 2006, will be recognized for his outstanding work with the Bob Woodruff Foundation.  The Bob Woodruff Foundation   helps returning veterans address their life challenges, including mental health issues.


First Lady of Saratoga Marylou Whitney and former New York State First Lady Matilda Raffa Cuomo are the honorary co-Chairs of the event.


Reached by phone on vacation in the Adirondacks, Woodruff noted he and his wife, Lee, have visited Saratoga Springs often, but “… this actually be the first time that I will be meeting Ms. Whitney.” 


While reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces for ABC’s “World News Tonight,” on Jan. 29, 2006, Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq.  


He was entirely open to discussing the details of that day.


“I have scant memories,” he said. “I know I was completely out cold for at least a minute. My camera person (Doug Vogt, who also survived) and I said to each other ‘we are alive’ but we were both bleeding terribly – blood gushing out from my neck.” 


“Blacked out again. The next time I awoke I was in Bethesda Naval Hospital. Three weeks later.” He said. 


In a miraculous recovery, just 13 months later, he returned to ABC News with “To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports.” Since then, he has reported from around the globe on a variety of subjects for the network. He was honored with a Peabody Award for his reporting on traumatic brain injury.  


In his bestselling memoir, In an Instant, co-authored with Lee, Bob Woodruff shares stories about the fragility of life, the strength of family, and the bravery of those who helped save him. 


“I had turned the corner; certainly I felt lucky to be alive. But then the challenges of recovery take hold,” he said. “I had a ‘now what?’ moment.”


Now in its ninth year, The Bob Woodruff Foundation’s mission is to ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving long after their return home.  It finds and funds innovative programs in communities where veterans, their families and caregivers live and work.


“We are fortunate,” Woodruff noted, “to be able to have raised $20 million over the years. We have an annual fundraiser now – called ‘Stand Up For Heroes’ during comedy week in NYC (The next one is on November 5 at the Madison Square Theater.)”


Woodruff felt particularly gratified to be honored by the Mental Health Foundation.


“Our issues are parallel.” He said. “Mental illness in the civilian world is akin to the issues that arise out of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in the military. In both cases, there’s a huge stigma about mental illness; in the military, it is often considered ‘unmanly.’ No one wants to admit to it. So these are the great invisible wounds we face as a society.”


“I have seen estimates that in both the military and civilian sectors, perhaps 20 percent of these populations face some form of mental issues at one time or another.” Woodruff said. “I actually think it’s higher.”


“We all still have a lot of work to do.”


For more information, visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org


An August Evening In Saratoga 

Honoring Bob Woodruff and

The Bob Woodruff Foundation

Monday, August 18

6 to 8 p.m.

Saratoga National Golf Club

Tickets: $100 - RSVP By August 11



(518) 694-5364

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