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Paperback The Long Road Home (TV Tie-In) : A Story of War and Family Book

ISBN: 0451490797

ISBN13: 9780451490797

The Long Road Home (TV Tie-In) : A Story of War and Family

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Book Overview

NOW A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MINISERIES EVENT ABC News' Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak in her account of "Black Sunday"--a battle during one of the deadliest periods of the Iraq war. The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on Sunday, April 4, 2004. More than seven thousand miles away, their families awaited the news for forty-eight hellish hours--expecting...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Captain John Moore

Thanks go to Martha and her incredibly talented staff for producing a great book that really describes that day. I commanded the Crusaders, a tank company from 1st Armored Division, that was literally in the very last hours of our tour in Iraq when this fight took place. In the aftermath, we would be extended 3 months and fight almost the whole time. Combat is very subjective and perceptions of it are dramatically different, even among soldiers in the same unit, given their age, level of experience, and most importantly, their level of responsibility. Keep in mind that almost all of the key leaders in this book were in their early 30s, or more often in their 20s. I would encourage readers to try to envision the emotional impact of this battle on a battalion that had just arrived in Iraq, the Lancers (2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment). It has been painful for me to read criticism of the decisions made that affected the rescue of Commanche Red Platoon that day. Combat, especially close urban combat in the first day of an insurgency in which there is no precedent, requires very rapid decisions that will be life and death for all soldiers involved. Lancer Battalion proved that day that they were very capable fighters and very good at developing tactics very quickly that would help us achieve our objectives. As American soldiers, we never ever leave our fallen behind. This is a huge part of our identity. The Lancers fought very heroically and their leaders made the right decisions to get those boys out of there. I would challenge anyone to do better. All of the soldiers I fought with that day fought like tigers. I was not disappointed by a single man. My association with these men and other men in three months of constant subsequent fighting will always be my highest honor. There is absolutely no greater generation of young Americans at any point in our history. My company lost one Killed In Action (KIA) that day, Sergeant Mike Mitchell, from California. That morning, he and I had run together around the Martyr's Monument in downtown Baghdad, just south of Sadr City. 2 other soldiers were wounded that day, First Lieutenant Chris Dean and Specialist Micheaux Sanders, both of whom received the Silver Star for their actions that day. In subsequent combat in Najaf and Kufa, we would lose two more KIA, First Lieutenant Ken Ballard from California and PFC Nick Zimmer from Ohio. 3 more would be wounded. All of this from a company of 56 tankers. I must add that two of our mechanics were decorated for bravery as well, Sergeants Mitchell and Halverson. 1 out of every 7 earned the Purple Heart. I am in awe of their performances just as I am of the infantry we fought with on April 4th, 2004 from 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. Most importantly, I want to thank Martha and her staff for relating what effect this had on our families. It is often unreported and it is so vitally important in understanding the nature of this war which is being fought by

The last word in the book (on pg 310) is a reminder for us all: "Remember."

One of the problems in understanding what is happening in Iraq is in understanding what our soldiers are facing there. Too often, we forget that understanding of World War II and Korea came many years afterwards. It is always dangerous to think that news sound bytes or third hand analysis will provide for you what you need to know. Martha Raddatz had done some especially important reporting in this book that I believe everyone should read. At least everyone who cares about what is actually going on over there. I want to emphasize the quality and style of the reporting. It is rare nowadays for a reporter to not also telegraph their own politics and opinions of the events they describe. Raddatz has higher standards. It is impossible for the reader to be sure about her thoughts about the events. Oh, you might project some onto her words, but if you carefully read what is on the page you cannot honestly infer her views. This is all one can ask of a reporter and Raddatz delivers. The book centers on the battle that took place in Sadr City on April 4, 2004. A platoon that had newly arrived in Iraq was assigned the glorious daily detail of cleaning up the rivers of raw sewage the run in the streets. It isn't that the sewage runs because of wrecked sewers. There just are not any. This is normal life for these folks. One would think these folks would be grateful for the help. Instead, the Shia Muslims that made up the local population decided to declare their independence by attacking this maintenance detail. Hundreds of militia began firing at them. The vehicles used for such work were not all armored and while they were armed they were not prepared for fighting on this scale. They quickly found an alleyway and commandeered a house and set up a defense. One of their number was killed and many were wounded before they set up the defense. They called for help and it was sent right away. However, the help sent did not really understand the scope of the difficulty and brought humvees with canvas tops and opened backed troop carriers. They, too, suffered tremendous injury and death from the rooftops and doorways. It took a number of efforts over the next three hours to rescue the first platoon. There are many scenes of heroism, loss, and horror. Many questions are raised. However, one should not play the awful bureaucratic political game of looking at what actually happened and then criticize the actions taken as if what happened could have actually been known beforehand. I will leave you to read about these incidents for yourself, but at the end of that day's battle eight soldiers had died and more than seventy were injured. One of those who died in the efforts to pacify the city after the rescuer was Casey Sheehan. He was a humvee mechanic who was recruited to go out and help the wounded because he had some training in dealing with injuries. When all the random lead was flying he took a high powered round through his helm

Get In Touch with our War

This book is a non-stop read. Martha Raddatz makes ya' wanna find a military family to lend some support to, or maybe pick-up a paintbrush and head for Walter Reed...do something to show your appreciation. She makes it so clear that our 160-thousand, all-but-forgotten kids, are going through a meat-grinder over there so we can tune-into American Idol or grieve over Anne Nicole. She has provided a wake-up call, no matter how your feel about the political side of the war, that American kids are getting killed and chopped-up in Iraq and they deserve our time, support and attention.

Bravo Martha.....

If you are prepared to know firsthand what our troops and the people who love them are facing day in and day out while we go about our lives in the safety of our borders read this book. It'll break your heart and make you proud...yes, we have gotten ourselves in a mess but that does not minimize the sacrifice our soldiers are facing everyday...and their families...such courage in the face of overwhelming adversity. Thank you Martha for one of the most, if not THE most important book about the Iraq War/Civil War.

A Must Read For All Americans

I found this book to be a very thorough and accurate description of the unrelenting bravery of our military, the hell our soldiers go through during combat, and the emotional strain that the families back home endure. The Long Road Home is very well written and should appeal to a variety of audiences, both male and female. It is important for the American public to fully understand what going to war means for our military and its families, and Martha Raddatz has captured this impeccably in her book.
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