In 2007, news correspondent Martha Raddatz published The Long Road Home describing the events of April 4th, 2004 when 2-5 Cavalry assumed their mission in Sadr City, Iraq in the midst of a horrific ambush. Sadr City had been quiet for a year, the Shia population was waiting to see if the American occupation would work out on their behalf. The Shias had been much abused under Saddam Hussein’s regime and the city was a huge slum.
“Can you believe this is only our day four here?” a corporal asks from his turret, more to himself than to the specialist in the turret next to him. They’re in an alleyway in the sprawling Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, straddling their up-armored Humvees, facing opposite directions, to cover the avenues of approach. They’re positioned in front of a three-story house where their platoon-mates regrouped in the aftermath of an ambush that killed one of their number — Sgt. Yihjyh “Eddie” Chen, 31, from Saipan — and left the unit cut off and surrounded.
Screengrab via National Geographic's "The Long Road Home"
Days after releasing an emotionally charged new trailer for The Long Road Home, National Geographic is unveiling another look at the upcoming miniseries about a routine patrol that went sideways in Sadr City in 2004. The new two minute-long teaser, provided exclusively to Task & Purpose, focuses on the toll deployments can take on the military families and spouses who remain behind when their loved ones go off to war.
April 4, 2004 --- the first day of the fighting in the Battle of Sadr City --- a day that lives in the hearts, minds, and souls of every War Eagle from 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. That fateful evening began like the end of a classic war movie. That day, The War Eagle Squadron was in the process of relinquishing command of Baghdad’s Tisa Nissan and Sadr City districts to 1st Cavalry Division. We were in the process of returning home after having been in Iraq for a year. Sadly, unforeseen circumstances that afternoon in Sadr City required we War Eagles to re-take command of the battle space.