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The Long Road Home

The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family
Martha Raddatz
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2007
DS79.76 .R33 2007

An unforgettable account of the ambush in Iraq known as "Black Sunday," from ABC News' chief White House correspondent, Martha Raddatz.

Only minutes after taking over operations in Sadr City, on a routine patrol, Lieutenant Shane Aguero's First Cavalry Division platoon faced hundreds of Iraqi militants who opened deadly fire. As he led his men to cover in a back alley -- wounded and under attack, his gunner shot dead beside him -- his wife Amber's warning echoed in his head. "In every war there is always a platoon that gets pinned down," she'd said. "Don't let it be yours."

Back in Fort Hood, Texas, Amber and the other wives and family members were unaware of the battle when they awoke that Palm Sunday morning. Connie Abrams and her eight-year-old son, Robbie, met with friends for brunch at the officers' club. Angie Upton was preparing to celebrate her twenty-eighth birthday, hoping for a call from her husband, while Allison Cason's family gathered in honor of her grandfather's eighty-first.

Then horrifying reports from half a world away began filtering in about casualties in the First Cav. Within hours, many of the women might receive "the knock on the door" - the notification that a husband or brother or son had been killed or wounded in action. Until then, they could only gather together in terrible anticipation of the awful news.

While the families waited, rescue squads in unprotected, open trucks were picked off one by one as they entered Sadr city. The twenty-four-hour firefight -- which would ultimately cost eight Americans their lives and leave more than sixty wounded -- marked the beginning of the full-blown Iraqi insurgency. Martha Raddatz's account of the ambush and the courageous effort to save Shane Aguero's platoon offers perhaps the most riveting picture of hand-to-hand battle to come out of the war in Iraq. Yet it is the intimate portrait of the close-knit community of families back home that distinguishes The Long Road Home from other works of war reporting. It captures the terror and bravery and fortitude not just of the soldiers who were wounded and killed, but also of the surviving families whose lives were changed forever.

Quoted from dustjacket.