David Wood is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered war and conflict around the world for more than 35 years. His second book, What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of our Longest Wars, was published by Little, Brown & Co. in late 2016, and won the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction. The work is based on his deep reporting in Iraq and Afghanistan and on veterans after they return.
Wood’s series on the Americans severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, exploring the postwar lives of the wounded and their families, and illuminating dramatic advances in combat trauma medicine, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
He has been a staff correspondent successively for Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service, The Baltimore Sun, AOL’s Politics Daily and The Huffington Post.
A birthright Quaker and former conscientious objector, he covered guerrilla wars across Africa as Time Magazine’s Nairobi bureau chief (1977-1980). As a Washington-based correspondent since 1981, Mr. Wood has covered national security issues at the White House, Pentagon and State Department, and has reported from conflicts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central America. He has written extensively about defense issues and diplomacy, nuclear war theory and arms control, international conflict resolution, and the failures of U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He has accompanied U.S. military units in the field many times, on domestic and overseas training maneuvers and in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. He covered the Persian Gulf tanker war, the interventions in Panama and Haiti, peacekeeping missions in the Balkans and combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Iraq he has embedded with units including the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment’s 2nd Squadron in East Baghdad, the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines in al-Anbar and the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing flying missions across Iraq.
In Afghanistan, he embedded with the 10th Mountain Division in January 2002, and has lived and worked elsewhere with, among others, the 3rd Battalion 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne; the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines in Helmand Province; the 82nd Airborne Division’s special troops battalion; the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry, in RC-East; and with the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade in Kunduz, Faryab, Kabul and Kandahar provinces.
He has flown on B-52 and B-1 bombers, lasted barely a week in Army Ranger School, and accompanied Rangers on night airborne maneuvers and Marines on amphibious and air assault operations. He has catapulted off aircraft carriers and sailed on a battleship, cruisers, a minesweeper and amphibs, and has submerged aboard attack and strategic missile submarines.
He has been scared much of his professional life.
In 1992-1993 he spent a year with the 1st Battalion 2nd Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, including three months of ground operations in Somalia. His account of that experience, A Sense of Values, was published by Andrews & McMeel in 1994.
He has been honored with the prestigious Prix de Bayeux-Calvados, an international award for war correspondents; the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma; the Joe Galloway Award by the Military Reporters and Editors Association and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Defense Reporting. He has appeared on CNN, CSPAN, the PBS News Hour, MSNBC and the BBC, and on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He has lectured at the U.S. Army Eisenhower Fellows Conference, the U.S. Army War College, the Marine Staff College, the Joint Forces Staff College, and at many colleges and universities from Temple University in Philadelphia to Northern Arizona State University in Flagstaff.
Mr. Wood was raised as a pacifist and in 1968 completed two years of civilian service in lieu of military duty. He has three children, Seth, Peter and Samantha, two stepsons, Matthew and Evan, and four grandchildren. He lives in south Texas with his wife, the journalist Beth Frerking. He bicycles for sport and goes to climb high mountains whenever possible.