Woodruff and Cameraman Head Back to U.S.

The ABC newsmen are being flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital

ABC newsmen Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt are due to be flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland on Tuesday to begin further treatment for the serious injuries they suffered Sunday during a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.

Doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in western Germany, where the World News Tonight co-anchor and his cameraman are being treated, call the men’s progress encouraging. “They couldn’t ask for better stats at this time. The signs are good and we are very optimistic,” physicians tell ABC News.

“They still have a long road to recovery. They’ve taken baby steps but very important milestones,” the doctors added.

Woodruff, 44, and Vogt, 46, were taken to Germany late Sunday night after their convoy was attacked by an improvised explosive device near Taji, Iraq, about 12 miles north of Baghdad. (An Iraqi soldier was also wounded.) Woodruff and Vogt suffered shrapnel wounds and underwent surgery at the U.S. military hospital in Balad.

Woodruff’s brother is optimistic about his brother’s recovery. “Having seen him, we think he’s going to recover eventually,” said Dave Woodruff, as quoted by ABC “It’s gonna be a long road, but he’s a strong guy, and he’s gonna make it, and he’s gonna do well.”

Vogt, according to reports, is alert and has been sitting up and speaking.

In addition to head injuries requiring surgery, Woodruff also suffered broken bones and wounds to his upper body. It is reported that he has opened his eyes and responded to stimuli.

Woodruff’s wife, Lee, has been at her husband’s side in Germany. She is accompanied by close family friend Melanie Bloom, the widow of David Bloom, an NBC reporter who died in April 2003 from an apparent blood clot while covering the Iraq war.

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