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Published On: Mon, Nov 6th, 2017

Michael Kelly previews ‘The Long Road Home’: it’s story about the ‘true cost of war,’ a ‘story about humanity’

National Geographic’s new miniseries “The Long Road Home” centers on the fame ambush in Iraq, April 4, 2004 – “Black Sunday.” House of Cards star Michael Kelly stars at Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, the incoming battalion commander in Sadr City, explaining the show is much more than the deaths of a few soldiers, “This is a story about humanity.”

“The takeaway [from the miniseries] is the true cost of war,” says Kelly. “It’s not just a heroic guy dying in another heroic guy’s arms, which we’ve seen a million times. It doesn’t matter where you lie politically, or whether or not you believe in war as a necessity.

“This is a story about humanity.”

Michael Kelly as Lt. Col. Gary Volesky

Based on the eponymous best-selling book by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, the eight-part miniseries, “The Long Road Home” centers on the US ground forces in Iraq, who were ambushed by Iraqi insurgents in Sadr City, Baghdad. The attack killed eight Americans and severely wounded 65 others, all from the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.

The series’ narrative arc swings back and forth between the ambush in Sadr City and the soldiers’ families back home at Fort Hood.

“I read the first episode and Googled Gary and all these interviews with Martha [Raddatz] were on YouTube,” Kelly says. “What I learned is that … this is an incredible man with an absolute compassion and passion for what he does. I heard him talk about his wife as being the ultimate hero, that with her at home he didn’t have to worry about anything [at Fort Hood]. This is the cost of war … the child born three days before his father is deployed and his wife isn’t sure if her husband is going to come home; the parents who don’t know if their 20-year old son is ever coming home.”

Kelly says the entire “Long Road Home” cast stayed in duplexes on the grounds at Fort Hood and went through rigorous training.

“I’m not going to say for one second that we went through what the real military personnel go through, but they put us through the ringer,” he says. “I consider myself to be in pretty decent shape — my wife is a personal trainer — but I was not prepared for what they call ‘rifle shoulder’ from holding the rifle properly.”

He also had the chance to meet Volesky (now a 3-star general) in person when he visited the set. “I understood immediately what everyone meant about this man,” he says. “His soldiers said, and still say, that they would follow him into hell. I put him on an even higher pedestal. We walked and talked the whole time and after about 20 minutes they were waiting for him in an SUV … and he said, ‘Hang on, I’ll be right there’ and said to me, ‘Come on, walk with me. What do you really want to know?’ I got to talk to him about the character and about his experiences. He was an open book. I was like, ‘Holy s- – t, I get who this man is,’ and I’m forever grateful to him to get to play him.”

“The Long Road Home” 9 p.m. Tuesday on National Geographic

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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