Tom Ricks, on Kimberly Dozier: “The more I hear from Kimberly Dozier of CBS, the more impressed I am. This is from her commencement address at Wellesley College. She is talking about being hit by a car bomb a few years ago in Baghdad:
Now I was lying there on the ground, didn’t know what was wrong with me. I’d lost most of my blood, I had shrapnel to the brain, both eardrums were blown out, both femurs shattered and there was burning shrapnel studded in my legs from my hips to my ankles.
Now they say your true nature is revealed at a time like that. I immediately started alternately asking questions… and then a bit later, bossing my poor besieged rescuers around. I’m O positive. I have extra bandages. They are right here. Do you need them? You don’t need them. Is my helmet on? If my helmet is not on, I think you should put my helmet on because I can hear some ammunition burning off and that’s not good if it hits me. The poor guy is trying to put tourniquets on me and probably thinking, Lady, that is the least of your problems….
I had to do physiotherapy. Now because they hammered titanium rods through my legs, and I had a head wound. Some bizarre things happen with these injuries. Bones overheal. My bones were overhealing with like flakes of coral bone that were going into my joints and fusing them. There was one way to fix this, otherwise they would fuse and I would walk like a peg leg for the rest of my life. I had to pick up my legs, and crack the knees, and break the flakes of bone. They would have to give me extra painkillers and it still hurt like hell. You would scream through gritted teeth. They had to lock mom in the waiting room, behind two closed fire doors, to allow this to take place.
My dad, meanwhile, knew this had to be done, would stand next to me, hold my hand and listen to me scream. Both of them are just absolute love, just different ways of expressing it.”
Holy smokes. Ricks: “A lot of people have suffered similar agonies in recent years, but Kim does a good job of capturing it.”
This is exactly why leaving the day job is so important. Sitting in offices has its benefits, but at the end of the day, it’s bullsh*t. Not because there’s a masochistic imperative to suffer in the name of enhanced credibility, or a requirement to chase the the glamour of gore and groundwork, but because ultimately there’s little to be gained by second guessing the character of war as a REMF, and everything to be gained by witnessing it and knowing it first hand. But I digress…