Dozier hears call of Middle East

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A year after surviving near-fatal injuries in a bomb blast that killed two of her colleagues and an American solider, CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier said she wants to return to the Middle East.

"I'm looking forward to going back to the Middle East," Dozier said Wednesday at a screening for a handful of reporters of the new documentary "Flashpoint," which tells the story of what happened May 29, 2006. The correspondent and her two-man crew were following a 4th Infantry Division unit on a Baghdad street for "The Early Show" when the bomb exploded.

Dozier said she's eager to apply what she learned in graduate school in the study of Islamic militancy. "I think there's a need for more reporting on that," Dozier said. However, she added, with CBS News president Sean McManus agreeing, she's not ready to go back to Iraq — but she did not rule it out.

Dozier's story is only a part of the 50-minute docu "Flashpoint" by the "48 Hours" crew led by executive producer Susan Zirinsky and hosted by Katie Couric. "Flashpoint" airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday with limited commercial interruption; it is sponsored by Celebrex.

Dozier has spent the past year undergoing untold numbers of surgeries — she said she lost count after 25 — and as many as 2,000 stitches. Killed in the explosion were cameraman Paul Douglas, soundman James Brolan, in addition to U.S. Army Capt. James Alex Funkhouser and an Iraq translator named Sam. Dozier was severely wounded and without a pulse twice; several nearby soldiers were severely wounded, too.

Dozier said Wednesday that she was uncomfortable with being the subject of the docu; she said her only complaint was that there was too much of her in it. But she said that the producers convinced her that she was essential because the story was being told through her.

The docu spends a lot of time on Brolan and Douglas, the wounded soldiers who struggled physically and emotionally to recover after the deadly attack, and the wife and young children of Funkhouser. One of the most emotional parts of the docu comes when one of Funkhouser's daughters tells the camera: "My daddy was a hero as he died … I miss his tickles."

Zirinsky said the idea for the docu came up when she and Dozier began building an e-mail relationship; in initial meetings about the docu Dozier presented a wealth of information that she had been collecting. Zirinsky got approval from McManus and got Couric involved.

"Flashpoint" is produced by Paul Ryan and Chris Young, produced and edited by Michael McHugh. The senior producer is Judy Tygard.
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