After narrowly escaping death from a Baghdad bomb, CBS’s Kimberly Dozier can’t wait to return to the war zone.
CBS, however, can.
Understandably, the network is in no hurry to send Dozier back to the place where, on Memorial Day 2006, a car bomb critically injured her and killed her CBS colleagues Paul Douglas and James Brolan.
Dozier, on the other hand, is ready to ditch her “temporary assignment” in Washington and get back to the Middle East, her base since ’03. She has a home in Jerusalem.
“It’s the job I trained for all my life,” she says. “I understand that a lot of people care about me and are worried about me, but I’ve got to make the decisions for the risks I face and the risks I take.”
She’s talking with CBS News brass and “they’re trying to get comfortable with the idea of sending me back. This was a pretty earth shattering experience for everyone.”
Dozier chronicles the experience in “Breathing the Fire,” to be published May 13.
Dozier, 41, has lived in the Middle East, off and on, since she bartended her way through graduate school at the University of Virginia.
Quick aside: She makes a killer martini. Her recipe for perfection: Stir, don’t shake; use perfectly chilled vodka and serve with three cured olives from Israel or Greece.
The Middle East “is home for me in the way that ‘Main Street USA’ is home for most people,” she says. “Because of that, I think I’m a very good translator of that world to this one. We need that understanding of how ‘they’ see ‘us’ over there.”
During her nine-month recovery from multiple trauma injuries, Dozier underwent more than two dozen surgeries. (“My doctors and I lost count.”) With broken bones in both legs, she had to re-learn how to walk.
She was encouraged to write the book as a catharsis, to exorcize her demons.
“At first, it was like bleeding on paper,” she says. “It hurt. It was angry, raw. Each draft got easier, and by the end, I finally got to enjoy the process of writing.”