ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt Arrive Back in United States

ByABC News
January 31, 2006, 5:02 AM

Jan. 31, 2006 — -- "World News Tonight" co-anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt arrived back in the United States late this afternoon to receive further treatment for the injuries they suffered during a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Doctors say they continue to respond well to treatment.

A C-17 medical evacuation plane that carried Woodruff and Vogt, as well as wounded soldiers, landed at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C., late this afternoon.

The two were transferred to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland on the advice of the military. Military doctors strongly recommended they go to Bethesda because the hospital has the most expertise in handling the kinds of injuires they have suffered.

It is not known how long Woodruff and Vogt will remain at Bethesda.

Doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in western Germany, where Woodruff and Vogt were being treated Tuesday morning, said they were surprised at how much the two had improved overnight.

Vogt was said to be awake, alert, and talking.

"I asked him if he was ready to go to Bethesda," said Lt. Col. Dr. Peter Sorini, "and he said he was from Paris and he preferred to go home. So I sort of sense that he had a bit of a sense of humor."

Woodruff has increasingly shown signs of consciousness.

"He started to wake up more -- move his arms and legs and just this morning starts opening his eyes," said Sorini.

The two were taken to the Landstuhl late Sunday night after their convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device early Sunday near Taji, Iraq, about 12 miles north of Baghdad. The two journalists and an Iraqi soldier were wounded in the attack.

Woodruff and Vogt suffered shrapnel wounds and underwent surgery at the U.S. military hospital in Balad. Doctors, colleagues and family members have been encouraged by the progress in their recovery.

Initial reports said the injured Iraqi soldier was "walking wounded," according to the American military. There was no update available on his condition.

Dave Woodruff said he is optimisic about his brother's recovery.

"Having seen him, we think he's going to recover eventually," said Dave Woodruff. "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. And I think the care he's gotten has been just world class so far. So with that, we can feel pretty good about him."

Doctors say the immediate treatment Woodruff and Vogt received in Iraq, and the fact that both were wearing body armor, were crucial in their survival. They were wearing body armor, helmets and ballistic glasses. Woodruff and Vogt were taken by medevac to the Green Zone in Baghdad to receive treatment within 37 minutes of the blast. They were then flown by helicopter to Balad, which is about a 20-minute ride from Baghdad, said ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz, who has covered the Pentagon and has extensive experience reporting from Iraq.