Veterans Organization Honors Bob Woodruff

By Noah Davis 

Bob Woodruff and the vets

At last night’s Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Fall Benefit held at Gotham Hall, the growing organization honored ABC’s Bob Woodruff with its 2007 Civilian Service Award. “He’s never worn a uniform, but he’s a warrior,” IAVA executive director and founder and Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff said before introducing the group’s director of governmental affairs, Todd Bowers, to present Woodruff with the award.

Woodruff helped raise $2 million for the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury at the previous night’s “Stand Up for Heroes” benefit. He told a story about the first post-injury interview he conducted. Concerned he wouldn’t be able to conduct an interview, he chose Rieckhoff as his subject. “They said I could barely speak and kept falling asleep in the car on the way down. But when we got there, they put the microphone down and I started firing questions and Paul started firing back,” he explained. “It was like it all came back immediately.”

One of the many people Woodruff thanked was his brother who filmed the proceedings. The newsman said that during his medically-induced coma, his wife Lee wouldn’t allow any photos or video to be taken. “I woke up and said ‘I’m a journalist. Where’s all of it?'” Woodruff quipped.

Others in attendance included Tammy Duckworth, who received the IAVA’s 2007 Veterans Leadership Award, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer, who opened the night and C.J. Pierce of the rock band Drowning Pool.

—Noah Davis

Woodruff speaks