"Under a full opalescent moon in the spring of 2003, CNN correspondent Walter C. Rodgers and three colleagues climbed into an unarmored Humvee loaded with satellite transmission equipment and fell into column formation with the M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles of Apache Troop, 3rd Squadron, of the storied 7th Cavalry and crossed the Line of Departure between Kuwait and Iraq. Sleeping with Custer and the 7th Cavalry: An Embedded Reporter in Iraq is Rodgers's account of the fight from the Kuwaiti border to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad."
"Rodgers was embedded with the "tip of the tip of the spear," the armored reconnaissance unit tasked with clearing the way for the invasion of Iraq. For the next three weeks, Rodgers - a seasoned combat correspondent who has covered armed conflicts in the West Bank, along the "Green Line" in Lebanon, and in Sarajevo, Azerbaijan, and Afghanistan - was a first-person witness to the opening campaign of the most significant war America has embarked upon since Vietnam - and, like Vietnam, it will continue to shape and define American history and foreign policy in the twenty-first century."
"Rodgers and his journalistic colleagues in Operation Iraqi Freedom became pioneers in the process of embedding, the placing of journalists who can transmit video reports in real time under combat conditions with no censoring authority to block their reporting.
This technology, which may well be outlawed by the Department of Defense in future conflicts, enabled CNN viewers to experience the invasion from "Embed U"--The prewar school where embedded journalists learned to scramble into MOPP suits in the event of attack by chemical or biological weapons - to a fierce night ambush on a narrow dirt road south of the Euphrates River, to the sight of torn and burning corpses of Iraqi soldiers strewn around their flaming Soviet T-72 tank on Iraq Route One at the edge of Baghdad."
"During this journey into war, Rodgers and his crew embraced the dangers, the numbing fatigue, and the moments of stark fear of the young armored cavalrymen they lived with twenty-four hours each day, an experience that created for them the lifelong bond that only soldiers serving together under fire share.
Sleeping with Custer and the 7th Cavalry covers the remorse of their military companions after two Iraqi children were killed by friendly fire from a Bradley fighting vehicle during an ambush, suicide charges by hardcore Fedayeen (Faithful-onto-Death) fighters and Republican guard troops, and the rescue of the journalists by a quiet cavalryman from Alabama when he cut down two Iraqi soldiers who were taking aim at them from close range with Kalashnikov machine guns in the confusion of a night firelight. Throughout the campaign Rodgers had unprecedented access to secret operational briefings as the 7th Cavalry fought its way across ancient Mesopotamian deserts once ruled by Hammurabi, Nebuchadnezzar, and Alexander the Great."
"Sleeping with Custer and the 7th Cavalry also details Rodgers's return visit to Iraq a year later. Rodgers reflects on the nature of war and the loss of friends and colleagues - more journalists have been killed in Iraq to date than in the entire Vietmam War - and shares his personal feelings about a conflict that has claimed the lives of over fifteen hundred American men and women. Illustrated with photographs taken during the invasion by Jeff Barwise, the CNN fieldbroadcast engineer who accompanied Rodgers, Sleeping with Custer and the 7th Cavalry is an essential document of the first American war of the new century."--Jacket.