Thursday, Jul. 03, 2008

Richard Engel

Kimberly Dozier's book, Breathing the Fire, is a story of survival. Kim, a friend, was seriously injured by a car bomb in Iraq. Her legs were scorched and broken. She had shrapnel in her brain. "My legs were burning, searing," she writes. "Pain and heat. I lifted my head and saw a burning car, maybe 20 or 30 feet away." Kim's powerful book is the most detailed account I've read of what thousands of wounded U.S. troops, many Iraqis and a few unlucky journalists have had to endure because of the war in Iraq. But Kim does not ask for pity. She begins her book with a note a wounded Navy Seal posted on his hospital door. "If you are coming into this room to feel sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received, I got doing a job I love." It's clear Kim feels the same way. Her book is a reminder to all of us who cover Iraq how quickly our luck can change.

Engel recently released War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq