It was difficult to imagine on April 4, 2004, that it would be the day that one U.S. military platoon, the 1st Calvary Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, would suffer its largest loss of life in a single day since the Vietnam War.
After all, it had been less than a year since President George W. Bush had famously declared, “Mission accomplished” about the U.S. intervention in Iraq that overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein.
American forces were presumably still in Iraq on peacekeeping missions, assisting with what was supposed to be the transition to a homegrown democracy centered in Baghdad.
Instead, eight service members were killed and about 50 injured in what became known as Black Sunday when Iraqi insurgents attacked the division.
ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, who had covered the aftermath of the tragedy, wrote what became a New York Times best-selling book about it in 2007.
“The Long Road Home” has been made into an eight-part miniseries for National Geographic Channel, which premieres tonight at 9/8c. It chronicles the ambush and rescue mission in Sadr City, Baghdad and in Fort Hood as family members back home anxiously await news about the surprise attack.
Two-time Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kelly (“House of Cards,” “Taboo”) plays Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, the battalion commander who runs a daring rescue operation, with another Emmy-nominated actor, Jason Ritter (“Parenthood,” “Girls”), as Capt. Troy Denomy, who leads the rescue convoys into the city.
Kate Bosworth (“Blue Crush,” “SS-GB,” “The Art of More”) plays Capt. Denomy’s wife, Gina. Sarah Wayne Callies (“Prison Break,” “The Walking Dead,” “Colony”) portrays LeAnn Volesky, wife of Lt. Col. Volesky and a leader in the family readiness community.
E.J. Bonilla (“Unforgettable”) portrays Lt. Shane Aguero, the leader of the ambushed men. Jeremy Sisto (“Suburgatory,” “Law & Order,” “Six Feet Under”) takes on the role of Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger, a career soldier on the cusp of retirement who has been stop-lossed for the deployment.