21 DAYS TO BAGHDAD joins National Geographic's own filmmakers Gary Scurka and Charles Poe to relive their experiences shooting in and around Baghdad during the Iraqi conflict. Working with officials insistent on denying the imminent threat posed by the U.S. aggression, Poe sets the scene in Baghdad as one by one, the city's stalwart buildings and palaces succumb to enemy fire. Dealing with the bureaucracy by day and filming the aerial attacks by night, Poe gives a very real impression of a city-and governmental regime-in peril as coalition forces draw closer.
Stationed with India Company of the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, Scurka gives viewers an up-close look at the U.S. military in action as he travels with them by tank from the Kuwaiti border into Baghdad. Viewers experience enemy fire first hand as India Company undergoes a tense conflict outside the Baghdad city limits. Later, after it is clear the coalition forces have effectively ended Hussein's stronghold on the city, viewers are there to witness the soldiers' relief as they enter Baghdad to the smiling faces and cheers of its citizenry.
One-on-one interviews with military personnel give viewers insight into the complex mix of emotions soldiers encounter when facing the enemy, helping the wounded or thinking of home. Meighan Adamouski, wife of Blackhawk pilot James Adamouski, whose helicopter was shot down by Iraqi soldiers early on in the conflict, puts a human face to the impact of the war back home as she talks of her husband's commitment to his country and his family. For many soldiers, these seemingly disparate loyalties do not conflict with their stated missions, but make them even more steadfast in their belief that what they accomplish abroad will enable their family to lead a happier, more secure life at home.