The war, both in Iraq and at home, is ably painted by news correspondent Raddatz. The specific incident depicted is the Sadr City ambush of a platoon from "A" Troop, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the First Cavalry Division. In the ensuing fight and rescue of the platoon, 8 Americans were killed and close to 60 wounded while hundreds of Iraqis were killed. One of the Americans who perished was Specialist Casey Sheehan, son of antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan. Raddatz does well in portraying the sacrifices of the soldiers and those who are left at home. Joyce Bean's delivery of the narrative sections of this work is expressive and easy to understand. When performing dialogue, however, her renditions of men in combat fall somewhat short.
In April 2004, soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division were on a routine patrol in Sadr City, Iraq, when they came under surprise attack. Over the course of the next 48 hours, eight Americans would be killed and more than 70 wounded. Back home, as news of the attack began filtering in, the families of these same men - neighbors in Fort Hood, Texas - feared the worst. In time, some of the women in their circle would receive "the call": the notification that a husband or brother had been killed in action. So the families banded together in anticipation of the heartbreak that was certain to come.
The firefight in Sadr City marked the beginning of the Iraqi insurgency, and Martha Raddatz has written perhaps the most riveting account of hand-to-hand combat to emerge from the war in Iraq. This intimate portrait of the close-knit community of families Stateside, the unsung heroes of the military, distinguishes The Long Road Home from other stories of modern warfare, showing the horror, terror, bravery, and fortitude not just of the soldiers who were wounded and killed but also of the wives and children whose lives are now forever changed.
©2007 Martha Raddatz; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"A masterpiece of literary nonfiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it." (Washington Post)
I have a personal relationship to this story... my son was there. He was in Charlie Company until just prior to deployment, when he transferred to the HHC as a sniper. In Sadr City, he was in the group responding to assist Hines. Both Hines and Reynolds (Big Country) attended my son's Ranger graduation, after which we spent an evening together. Their character is adequately described in the book.
Personally, the story helped me put into context the chaos described in my son’s phone call that night after he returned to Camp War Eagle.
It is a non-judgmental story, providing only the facts. You will sense the emotional turmoil for everyone involved and be amazed that so much could be written about so little passage of time.
It’s only downfall… the narrator. Her attempts to provide a male voice were very ineffective. A male narrator should have been strongly considered.
I liked the book a lot but hated the narrator. I agree with the last reviewer than a male reader would have been better. But in addition, this reader dragged on--I wished I had a control to speed her up. I will not choose this reader again.
I'm sure this story was great but the narrator killed it
Trying to speak with a man's voice
It was difficult to get past the first 3 chapters...I gave up. Probably a great read but listening was brutal!
The plot of The Long Road Home was the most captivating point - and as well it should be! As a story of what is sometimes known as Black Sunday, the early April 2004 day where fighting in Sadr City changed the aspect of the conflict in Iraq from one of hopeful reconstruction to a war of insurgency, the story is succint and to the point. It does not attempt to capture all nuances of the conflict, but follows some of the critical events of that day in a way that tells the story of the young soldiers involved. This is the first book of this conflict that I have read/listened to and I was incredibly surprised to have been drawn into it so quickly and so completely.
In it's attempt to tell and follow the stories of just a few men during a conflict, it reminds me of Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley, or even Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. However, the story-telling of this book is quite different from these other two; as are the conflicts portrayed. If you like the narrative style of those books, this one may feel too
I should note that I gave this title a try on a whim when it came on sale a few years ago. While it has taken me a long time to get around to listening to it, once I began I could not put it down. My heart goes out to all that live with what they saw that day.
Amazing story. I knew some of them having played soccer with them at Fort Hood prior to the departure for Iraq. Ramon is heading back this coming March 08. I pray the 'angels' help them return home again.
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