Reliving Memorial Day 2006

Kimberly Dozier, Paul & James in the field
CBS
On Memorial Day 2006, CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier and her camera crew, cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan, were on patrol with the 4th Infantry Division to cover a story when a car bomb exploded.

The bomb, made up of at least two artillery shells and weighing between 300 and 500 pounds, was placed in a car and remotely detonated.

The bomb struck with deadly force, killing Douglas, Brolan, an Army captain and his translator; Dozier and six others were injured.

What followed is a story of survival, sacrifice and heroism.



It has taken many excruciating months for Kimberly Dozier to travel the long road from Baghdad to Baltimore, where this past February she was at the University of Maryland Medical Center preparing for yet another round of surgeries.

Asked how many surgeries she has had since the car bomb changed her life forever, Dozier tells Katie Couric, "I've lost count. More than 25."

"If you had to go through a laundry list, Kimberly, of what you've experienced since you were wounded, can you tick it off for me?" Couric asks.

"The car bomb went off on this side of me," Dozier says, referring to her right side. "So most of the damage was to this side of my body."

One of her leg bones was broken in three places from the force of the blast. "My legs have rods in them," Dozier explains.

"Seeing that, it's a lot more messed up than I realized," she says, looking at an x-ray of her legs. "I try not to think about this as me...it sometimes hits me later."

"My eardrum was blown out," she adds.

"There's some shrapnel floating somewhere in here," Dozier says, touching her head. "I've seen it on the x-rays, it'll probably always be there."

Aside from shrapnel injuries, she also suffered burns, mostly to her right leg.

"I went in and out of the O.R. so many times that, like breathing, it was just another thing I had to do every couple of days," she says, reflecting on her many surgeries.

"I just wondered if you wake up incredulous that you have gone through all that you've gone through?" Couric asks.

"For the first six, seven months, whenever I'd wake up, it would all come back. What had happened, why I was there. How far I had to go before I could get back to normal, back to where I was. And the people I'd lost. The people we all had lost that day," she replies.

A year ago, Kimberly Dozier was reporting for CBS News from Iraq. "Coming back to Iraq is like coming home," she says. "Since the invasion, I spent most of my working life there."

"That was my family. The CBS Baghdad bureau. I had moved into one of the rooms," she remembers.

When Dozier returned to Baghdad at the end of last May, she was assigned to work with cameraman Paul Douglas, soundman James Brolan, and producer Kate Rydell. Their first assignment was to produce a story for Memorial Day.

"It was a piece that The Early Show asked us to do about Memorial Day, that the soldiers don't get a holiday," Rydell recalls. "It's any other day for them. They don't get to sit back and have parties and hot dogs. They're at work."