From the farms and fields of Arkansas to the deadly streets of Baghdad, Off to War tracks the citizen soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard as they come face to face with the horror of war.
Never before has a single unit of soldiers been followed from the beginning to the end of their deployment at war. In April 2004, filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud arrived in Iraq with the Arkansas National Guard during one of the bloodiest months to date. Within twenty-four hours of their arrival, one of the guardsmen lay dead. By the end of the first month, the unit had lost more soldiers than any other National Guard Brigade in Iraq.
From actual scenes of full-scale combat to a soldier's funeral, from the birth of a first child to the heartbreaking return home of a critically injured soldier, Off to War tells the story of a war in a way it has never been told before--through the eyes of the soldiers and families back home who endured it.
Episode 9 of 10
As their deployment in Iraq nears its end, the men begin to count the remaining days, as do their families on the home front. Back in Arkansas, the Hertleins and the Jacksons eagerly prepare for the return of Matt, Ronald and Tommy, but wonder how much their loved ones have changed and what the future will hold. Sergeants Curtis Rohrshceib and David Short are already plagued by nightmares of men they have lost in combat, and they worry about how their experiences will affect them later on. But the soldiers aren’t home yet, and they have to survive one more convoy to Kuwait on the most dangerous highways in Iraq. When they arrive back in the States, members of the Guard are sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to debrief, and are warned of the difficulties they will face readjusting to life as civilians. Clarksville is festooned with yellow ribbons as the men finally return to Arkansas to a heroes’ welcome back in the arms of their families.