Today, I have to veer off my normal course.
Every Sunday, I try to introduce ya'll to authors you may or may not have heard of, normally by way of an older publication of theirs, in the hopes you will eventually like the author as much as I do. :0)
Normally, I leave non-fiction in the capable hands of others, because it is just not a genre I generally enjoy.
Then I heard of this book. I had to buy it, and I am glad I did.
This week's review?
Released July, 2007
I had the great fortune to watch a webcast at work with this author (She spoke at our home office in San Antonio) and one of the soldiers whose story she chronicled in this book, Marine Captain Vernice "Junk" Armour.I listened with great interest as the author, Kirsten Holmstedt, discuss what it was like interviewing these brave ladies, many of whom left kids and husbands behind, and what they felt when they were in the thick of gunfire, be it on the ground or in the air.
The webcast really piqued my interest, so I actually went right to the bookstore after work that day and bought the book.
Immediately, I was sucked in by the way Ms. Holmstedt told the stories of her soldiers. Each injected with a bit of humor, some matter-of-fact retelling by some soldiers watching their comrades die in battle, and yet others describe what it was like to be wounded in battle - some of these women losing limbs, but never losing sight of their mission.
Each soldier's story is like a vignette into her life - at once tense, sad, funny, even ironic. And while I know we each have our own opinions about the 'war' that technically isn't a war (at least, according to my President it isn't) - this book really brings home the struggles, triumphs, and sorrows of the women currently serving in the American Armed Forces overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Captain Vernice "Junk" Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot in the military, fought in Iraq.
Captain Armour, for instance, spoke of an instance when she was given the go-ahead to fire on a group of insurgents that had a small platoon pinned down, their ammo running out....
But I will let you read her story for yourself.
I am sorely tempted to delve into each soldier's story, but I would rather you take the time to pick this novel up at the bookstore or the library.
I cannot put into adequate words what reading this book did for putting my life into proper perspective, and for giving me a new found respect for members of the military.
Read it. You will be profoundly moved, and profoundly glad you did.