National Geographic Series on an Opelika Solider and His Unit Killed in Iraq on “Black Sunday”
National Geographic started a mini series called ” The Long Road Home” based on a book written by an ABC White House Correspondent on the brutal 48 hour firefight in Iraq called Black Sunday.
Eight were killed, more than 70 injured in the largest casualty count in one day for the 1st Cavalry Division since Vietnam.
Among those killed, a Specialist from Opelika.
Stephen “Dusty” Hiller re-enlisted on 9/11.
But, Hiller’s mother had a bad feeling about his second military stint when he immediately shipped out with the 1st Calvary Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.
“As bad as it sounds, I knew he wasn’t coming home. I knew I was seeing him for the last time, and I honestly think he did to,” said Beth Hiller, Dusty’s Mother.
The 1st Cav. drew honey-dew duty, providing security for sewage trucks in Iraq.
“They were there not to be in war, but to help rebuild, just to know that with everything going on you can’t help but think there was going to be some danger. Dusty knew what his consequences were,”said Beth Hiller.
April 4, 2004, in the country only a few days, when “Black Sunday” hit, the 1st Cav. ambushed in Sadr City, Baghdad.
Hiller, another Alabama soldier, and six other soldiers killed.
“I miss my coffee drinking buddy. When he was killed, half my heart went with him, but it’s what he wanted,” said Beth Hiller.
A book first, then 13-years later, A National Geographic Series, called “The Long Road Home,” about the unit’s heroic fight for survival and, their families’ agonizing wait on the home front.
Though painful to watch, Hiller’s mother is glad others will learn of these brave men’s legacies from the book and program.
“I want people to see that our guys worked hard and they did their best,” said Beth Hiller.
For more on the series: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/the-long-road-home/