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. The work is based on his deep reporting in Iraq and Afghanistan and on veterans after they return.
Wood's series on severely wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, which explored advances in battlefield trauma medicine and what that has meant for those who fall in battle, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
He has been a journalist since 1970, a staff correspondent successively for Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service, The Baltimore Sun and AOL's Politics Daily. For six years, he was the senior military correspondent for HuffPost. A birthright Quaker and former conscientious objector, he covered guerrilla wars in Africa as Time Magazine's Nairobi bureau chief (1977-1980). As a Washington-based correspondent since 1980, Mr. Wood has reported on national security issues at the White House, Pentagon and State Department, and has covered conflicts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central America.
During the Cold War he reported from Russia and China, patrolled the inter-German border with American troops and visited a Soviet motorized rifle regiment across the border in East Germany. He reported from Nicaragua during the Sandinista-Contra conflict, from the Philippines during the 1986 overthrow of President Marcos, and from Bosnia before and during the U.S. military intervention in 1995. He has written extensively about defense issues and diplomacy, nuclear war theory and arms control, international conflict resolution and the problems of post-war rebuilding.
He has accompanied U.S. military units in the field many times, both on domestic and overseas training maneuvers and in Somalia, Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, the Persian Gulf tanker war, the interventions in Panama and Haiti, peacekeeping missions in the Balkans and combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was embedded with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Somalia, and the 10th Mountain and 101st Airborne Division units in Afghanistan in early 2002. In Iraq he has embedded with numerous 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 resupply missions across Iraq.
In Afghanistan, he has lived and worked with the 10th Mountain and 101st Airborne Divisions, the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 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 a week in Army Ranger School, accompanied Rangers on night airborne maneuvers and Marines on amphibious and air assault operations, flown off aircraft carriers and sailed on battleships, cruisers, minesweepers and amphibs, and has submerged aboard attack and strategic missile submarines.
He has been scared much of his professional life.
Wood has written widely across the span of national security issues, from nuclear deterrence theory to combat stress, domestic terrorism, military technology and doctrine, and scarce resources and demographic shifts as causes of instability.
In 1992-1993 he spent a year with 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 prize 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 Diane Rehm Show and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He has lectured at the U.S. Army Eisenhower Fellows Conference , the Marine Staff College, the Joint Forces Staff College, Arizona State University, Loyola University and Temple University.
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 outside Washington DC. with his wife, journalist Beth Frerking. He bicycles for sport and goes to climb high mountains when possible.