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Book and Media Reviews
October 1, 2008

Breathing the Fire: Fighting to Report—and Survive—the War in Iraq

JAMA. 2008;300(13):1595-1596. doi:10.1001/jama.300.13.1595

The complexities of the military health system, the nature of battlefield injuries, and the sacrifices of military health personnel may be unknown to most in the health care community and to the community at large. Other than attention to reported Walter Reed shortcomings, balanced coverage of the military health system is relegated to the shadows of the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, Kimberly Dozier, in her harrowing account of the near-fatal blast injuries she sustained from a roadside bomb while serving as an embedded reporter for CBS in Baghdad, shifts the focus onto the military health system with the balance and rich detail of a seasoned journalist. While meant to be a memoir of her personal journey, Dozier's account of her injuries and the physical and emotional challenges she faced personifies thousands of US heroes wounded by improvised explosive devices, the signature weapons of the war in Iraq.