The Backbone Of  War Is Courage

National Geographic Channel  “The Long Road Home”
National Geographic/ Revelations Entertainment 21st Century Fox 2017
Summary of this Scripted Series
Each episode is less than an hour in length
8 Episodes in this series
The eight episodes are to be broadcast Tuesday evenings on the National Geographic Channel on November 7, November 14, November 21, November 28, December 5, December 12, December 19 and December 26.  

A long road home is what many people go through, whether it be through illness, natural disaster or war. Home is a place in the heart that remains undisturbed and a place to go to for comfort. Going to this inner place can be instantaneous or to the physical home, almost a lifetime. In The National Geographic Channel’s 8-part series, “The Long Road Home,” adapted from the Martha Raddatz book, the audience enters the lives of eight people who are directly and indirectly affected by what happened on April 4, 2004 in Sadr City, Baghdad. What should have been an ordinary military mission turned into an eternity. The military group is the 1st Calvary pision from Fort Hood, Texas, formed in 1921 and known as the “First Team.” 

The series shows what happens before the men are deployed, and being sent on this mission. What happens at home with wives and children, is also covered. The long waits and the toll it takes on emotions. The story goes back and forth. It takes special people to go into war to protect one’s country and family and special people to be at home---the physical place with a warm emotional heart---to keep families safe there. 

However, what happens during the mission on the day known as “Black Sunday,”  is bloody war, indeed, with the men trapped in an ambush and help trying to reach them in time. We follow the stories of four people, Lt. Shane Aguero (E. J. Bonilla) the leader of the troops that were ambushed,  Col. Gary Volesky (Michael Kelly) as the battalion commander and Capt. Troy Denomy (Jason Ritter) who lead the rescue convoys. Back at home, there are Gina Denomy (Kate Bosworth) wife of Capt. Denomy, plus Sarah Wayne Callies (Leann Volesky), Noel Fisher (Thomas Young) and Jeremy Sisto (Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger.)  Several actors in the ensemble are widely known to audiences, including Jason Ritter (son of the late actor, John Ritter) who is also starring in the television series, “Kevin (Probably) Saves The World” while Sarah Wayne Callies was in the “Prison Break” series.  In “The Long Road Home” tension mounts for everyone, the men to be rescued and their families at home--who will make it and who won't. 

Quotes to Remember: Leann Volesky, “When you marry a soldier, you have to realize that he is married to the service.”
Capt. Troy Denomy, “First thing you learn in Ranger School: Doubt leads to indecision.”
Staff St. Robert Miltenberger, “Ain’ nothin’ out there like you think it is. Nothin’ ain’t no training gonna prepare you.”
PFC Thomas Young,” I used to think I was bulletproof, too, turns out, nope, not bulletproof, and I promise neither are you.”
Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, “Some guys have seen things that no one ever wants to see.” 

“The Long Road Home” is an intense television series, and one of the few scripted series from National Geographic Channel. Production was filmed in Fort Hood, Texas and is certainly realistic and an on-the-edge-of-your-chair experience. There is attention to detail. The stars of the series lived at Fort Hood during filming and learned how to wear all of the military gear.  According to press information, over one mile of prima cord explosive was used during filming, over 5,000 detonators were used to start explosives and over 65,000 feet of wire was used to wire the charges.  About enough to make your television set rattle. 

This is what war is like. This is what it is like to go into an ambush. This is what it is like to fight for survival while waiting for a rescue. This is what it is like for the loved ones at home who don't know whether to prepare for a homecoming or a funeral. This is what it is like to be a soldier. 

Scriptwriter: Mikko Alanne from the book “The Long Road Home” by Martha Raddatz
Stars: Michael Kelly (Lt. Col. Gary Volesky), Jason Ritter (Capt. Troy Denomy), Kate Bosworth (Gina Denomy), Noel Fisher (PFC. Thomas Young), Sarah Wayne Callies (Leann Volesky), E. J. Bonilla (Lt. Shane Aguero), Jon Beavers (Sgt. Eric Bourquin), Darius Homayoun (Interpreter Jassim Al-Lani), Jorge Diaz (SPC Israel Garza), Ian Quinlan (SPC Robert Arsiaga), Patrick Schwarzenegger (Sgt. Ben Hayhurst) and Jeremy Sisto (Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger)
Directors: Phil Abraham and Mikael Salomon 

Excellent production values. 

National Geographic has produced  this series. The series will run on television where over 730 million people, in 172 countries and 43 languages will see and hear it. The organization called (NGP) returns 27 percent of proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education.  For more information visit or Visit  on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest  


Copyright 2017 Marie Asner