By Debbie Gregory.
The National Geographic miniseries “The Long Road Home,” based on a book of the same name by ABC News Correspondent Martha Raddatz, is the true story of the 2004 deployment of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas to Sadr City, Iraq.
This is the story of the eight-hour battle in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, that followed the ambush of the newly-arrived American platoon. The soldiers, many of them young and inexperienced, were on a peacekeeping mission and weren’t expected to face heavy combat. Told in real time through the eyes of untested soldiers in combat for the first time, the series gives viewers an intimate and unforgettable portrait of what it’s really like to go to war.
The eight part mini-series tells the story of the ambush and the three heroic rescue missions launched to save the platoon. It also focuses on the home front, as wives and mothers waited anxiously for word and drew support from one another.
Instead of it being the low-key peacekeeping mission they were expecting, the deployment ended up being a series of a deadly ambushes and brave rescues, spread out over 80 days of fighting.
The day that came to be known in military annals as “Black Sunday” claimed the lives of eight troop members and injured 60 others.
“The courage I witnessed, the heartache and the survival of spirit both on the battlefield and the homefront, is something I wanted to share with as many people as possible,” said Raddatz.
The series was shot at Fort Hood. Aaron Fowler and Eric Bourquin, who had both been part of the deployments, served as technical advisers.
“The Long Road Home” premiered on November 7th on the National Geographic Channel.