Injured Cameraman Shares Story of Recovery

'I couldn't remember' little things after explosion, Doug Vogt Says.

ByABC News via via logo

Feb. 27, 2007 — -- When an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded near the convoy that was carrying ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff 13 months ago, his cameraman, Doug Vogt, who was with him, was also seriously wounded.

For the last 20 years, Doug has gone to just about every hot spot in the world -- Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and South Asia for the tsunami.

"It wasn't my great calling. I didn't want to be a war cameraman, someone who was running around the trenches," Vogt said. "It's interesting. It's fascinating, but there are a lot of other stories out there in the world that I also love."

But Vogt is best known for covering war. He was Robin Roberts' cameraman in Iraq in 2004.

Traveling in and around Baghdad on Blackhawks to a base in Fallujah, Vogt was by Roberts' side. He shot behind-the-scenes footage of the "Good Morning America" team as it prepared for its live broadcast.

Working with Woodruff last January in Iraq, Vogt was filming from the top of an Iraqi military vehicle when they were attacked.

"I sort of knew it was a bomb -- by the force of it. But I didn't know where everyone else was," Vogt said. "I was on top of the tank and I wanted to get down, but I couldn't move a muscle or a finger. I was in physical shock."

After several minutes, Vogt was able to stand up, walk around and even smoke two cigarettes.

"Even though I was bleeding, I didn't think I was bleeding terribly," he said. "I knew I would need some stitches, but I didn't know that I had a crushed skull."

Vogt had severe head trauma and was flown back to the United States for treatment.

"When I woke up in Bethesda, at the military hospital, my wife ... told me that I had surgery on my brain, which was a shock to me because I thought I was hurt and had a few stitches, but didn't realize I had brain surgery," Vogt said. "That's when the severity struck me."

His skull was shattered and his brain was pierced by bone and rocks. His journey back to health was much the same as that of his colleague and friend Woodruff, and would take months.

"It was very confusing to see that I couldn't remember simple things like numbers one to 10 in proper order," Vogt said. "You have to put your shoes on before you leave the house ... These things at first kind of shook me up. They made me quite a bit more frightened."

Eventually the words, his memory, and all the little things started to come back, and Vogt was able to return home to his family.

"The five of us together and we could just sit down and hold hands and they could see I was okay with their own eyes and hear my voice and see my expressions -- that for me was the best thing," he said.

Vogt and his family are optimistic and are determined to start a new chapter -- one that doesn't involve war zones.

"It's an open road for us and we don't really know where we're going to go or what possibilities are going to be there for us, but we're pushing to have another adventure," he said.

Bob and Lee Woodruff have established a fund to assist members of the military who are suffering from brain injuries. To learn more, click here: Bob Woodruff Family Fund.

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