The Journey

It’s been 12 years since 63-year-old Richard Campos participated in his country’s invasion of Iraq. He is disheartened by policies that have placed thousands of American troops in harm’s way. Inspired by a fallen comrade, Campos has dedicated his post-war life to service of a different kind. Under the threat of Al Qaeda, he took nearly $1.5 million in humanitarian aide to Basra in 2008. Years later a new and more deadly evil emerges.

ISIS threatens a way of life for hundreds of thousands of displaced individuals struggling for survival outside Erbil, Kurdistan. They are malnourished and lacking a physician’s care; living in makeshift conditions since Islamic terrorists were hot on their heels only months ago. They have seen their homes destroyed, their freedoms lost and loved ones killed or sold into slavery. The majority of them suffer from PTSD. These religious minorities do not see a hope in sight. But hope sees them. Campos, a former army sergeant, is being called back to Iraq and this time he recruits a task force of fellow veterans, each with their own horror story, to join him and bring their own closure to a government’s wide open attempt at diplomacy in the Cradle of Civilization.

“A good companion shortens the longest road.” A Kurdish proverb inspired first-time filmmaker Jennifer Salcido (who taught Political Science at the University of Dohuk, Kurdistan) and documentarian Matthew Charles Hall, an Orange County, California native, to journey to the Middle East to photograph this feature-length documentary. Photographed by Grammy-award nominee Jimmy Cooper and featuring dozens of interviews filmed domestically and abroad, the film follows the journey of refugees and veterans alike as they bring healing to each other in a world threatened by a very present evil. The Longest Road is now playing at various film festivals and events across the globe.