ABC News Team That Was Injured in Iraq Reunites for First Reporting Trip

It has been a long time since I have gone on assignment in search of a story.

Although I have covered numerous news segments on wounded veterans, this was my first chance to be reunited with the team that had been together on that fateful day in January when an explosive device hit our convoy in Iraq.

But now we are back: Doug Vogt, the cameraman injured in Iraq with me, and Magnus Macedo, the sound man who helped save my life in the tank after the explosion.

Vinnie Malhotra, the producer who was with me in Iraq, was on vacation this week, but we are lucky to have veteran producer Jim Hill with our team. Jim worked with me on the ABC documentary about the wounded vets with traumatic brain injury.

It feels amazing to be united again and out in the greater world focusing our storytelling abilities on Cuba and trying to determine what the future holds for this country at the crossroads.

Doug and Magnus flew in from London the day before me. Less than 24 hours later, I arrived in Havana from New York through Toronto with our producer Jim Hill.

Right after we landed, I rushed out directly to our first interview with Cuba's National Assembly president, Ricardo Alarcon. There was no question that this would be an important part of our story. However, what truly moved me was seeing Doug and Magnus standing in that room surrounded by cameras and sound equipment -- just like old times. The three of us broke into smiles.

Exactly one year and three months ago, Doug, Magnus and I were attacked by an an improvised explosive device, or IED, in Iraq that changed our lives and blew apart the rhythm of our families.

But each of us has worked hard on our recoveries. For me, it is still a work in progress. Doug still shoots like the artist he has been for years. Magnus' sound work has been perfect. My words are sometimes lost in my brain, but I am closer to returning to who I was every single day.

This has been a major trip for me, filled with hours of work. It is something I used to routinely do, and now in some ways, although it feels so familiar, it is also a big moment for me to be once again covering the international stories that I love.

We have been walking on the streets, speaking to Cuban citizens, watching the classic American cars built and imported in the 1950s that are still on the roads. So many of the old homes that used to be gorgeous are now falling apart. Almost no one would talk about politics or what would happen if Cuban President Fidel Castro did not return.

Looking at this team -- my brothers in so many ways -- I am overcome by amazement that we are all together again, so soon after that fateful explosion in Taji.

"Can you believe we are back to this job?" Doug asked us as we stared out at the Atlantic Ocean from Havana's downtown. "It's just beautiful to be alive."

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