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Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq [Kindle Edition]

Kirsten Holmstedt
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Book Description

* Winner of the 2007 American Authors Association Golden Quill Award

* Winner of the 2007 Military Writers Society of America Founders Award

In Iraq, the front lines are everywhere . . . and everywhere in Iraq, no matter what their job descriptions say, women in the U.S. military are fighting--more than 155,000 of them. A critical and commercial success in hardcover, Band of Sisters presents a dozen groundbreaking and often heart-wrenching stories of American women in combat in Iraq, such as the U.S.s first female pilot to be shot down and survive, the militarys first black female pilot in combat, a young turret gunner defending convoys, and a nurse struggling to save lives, including her own.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Holmstedt started studying the experience of women marines when she lived near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her research became a master's thesis in creative writing and the most up-to-date discussion of women in the current war. Unblushingly in favor of women in combat, she doesn't whitewash their experiences or exaggerate their achievements. Their male colleagues aren't universally accepting, but many of them admit that the women are performing effectively; since 20 percent of the troops currently in Iraq are women, they must. Following the tradition of American soldiers before them, they say that they are "just doing the job." That is, they are flying F-18s into enemy ground fire, driving Hummers and trucks that may be ambushed at any moment, and playing invaluable roles in intelligence operations and in the nation building that is one of the more positive aspects of a seemingly interminable and frustrating conflict. Nearly 500 female soldiers have been killed or wounded in Iraq. Invaluable as well as readable. Green, Roland


"An extremely well-written book., Highly recommended!" RNSA Summer 2008

Product Details

  • File Size: 6474 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0811735664
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1 edition (September 5, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003M69X6G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,472 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Band of Sisters...women at war July 25, 2007
"If you fail to try, you have already failed". Wow, powerful stuff. Yet, this attitude infused the individuals portrayed in this "book about women at war". A number of them chose military positions fraught with the need to prove oneself to male counterparts. The women remained women throughout. It was not necessary to mentally change gender. Each accepted that she had to overcome stereotyping by the "boys' locker room mentality." Rewardingly, each prove up to the task given her. Each earned the honor bestowed upon her as a military individual dedicated to her country. They deserve our praise and gratitude.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should buy a copy of this book and READ it! August 23, 2007
By E.M.D.
As the wife of a former Marine, I am aware of the sacrifices that all military personnel make on a daily basis. However, after reading this book I can truly say that I am blown away at the commitment, dedication and determination that these women posses. The author presents each story in a clean, precise way making it easy to feel an emotional connection to each woman profiled. Each individual story is thoughtfully organized, and presented in a way that makes the reader feel like these are our neighbors, friends and relatives. I am truly thankful that the author took the time to seek out these women and tell their stories so that we as civilians can realize what it's like to walk a mile in their combat boots. I highly recommend this book and know you will not be disappointed after reading it!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To whom much is given, much is required. August 8, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Never before has the pharase 'to whom much is given, much is required', been more appropriately described as it has been in this book. The female warriors chosen, no doubt from among many who could equally have been selected, have shown that as leaders they had vision, were able to communicate that vision, and could execute it under extremely difficult and often in the most dangerous and desperate situations. This book shows in graphic literary detail the strengths and courage of all military personnel, especially female, who clearly believe that when put together in a combat situation they owe each other maximum loyalty. The courage of a De Caprio, the compassion of a Salinas, the leadership of a Mayo and all of the others makes this book a long overdue recognition of the modern military female warrior. The author has brought together the true strengths of women who more than men suffer and overcome discomforts by simple adaption (such as the lack of privations and hygiene) as well as having to demonstrate their courage, and they did this without whinging, bitching or whining. These are truly remarkable military personnel and this book demonstrates this. But most importantly the author has done it in a sound, descriptive, explanatory way. Neither she or the individuals interviewed use their service as a sopabox. It is simply as it is. A truly worthy book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What it's really like 'over there'! September 30, 2008
Wow! This is a tear jerker for everyone! Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine (mostly Marine) - all can find someone here. Pilot, driver, nurse, etc.

If you want to know what it's really like over there (and take it from me!), read Band of Sisters.

OK, I wasn't really there - I was in Afghanistan instead but I still could identify with all but the fliers in this book. The weather was the same, the jobs are the same, women soldiers 'inspected' the Iraqi/Afghanistan women because the US military men were not permitted to, etc.

The language and words used were simple, curt and to the point - just like in the military. Very few compound sentences and even fewer complex sentences. You really felt as if you were there. Black and white. (Actually, beige, but, I digress.)

The chapters were well-written to keep you in suspense even though you knew how each chapter would end. If you read the last few paragraphs of a chapter like I did, you still will be riveted by the story from the beginning.

One thing did strike me, though. Each woman had something to prove and I have not found that to be so in my 25 years in the military, even being deployed.

The cover photo of Marines shows exactly what the sand was like. I now know how to explain it to friends - I'll show them this book. (Someone once told me to say it was like moon dust, but since I have never been on the moon and neither have my friends and family in the States, I didn't like that analogy. I used 'powdered sugar' instead.)

I actually thought the author had served in the 'sandbox,' it was all so real. However, I believe her MA was in creative non-fiction (now, what is that?) She obviously has a world of respect for military women.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Question is... September 10, 2007
Why did it take so long for someone to write a book of this caliber about American women at war? I served in the Air Force with many women during my 21 years of service and I know they are as capable as any man. What Ms. Holmstedt's book highlights is they are capable of making the ultimate sacrifice as well.

This is an awe-inspiring collection of personal stories that needed to be told about our brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. The fact that they are the first women to serve in combat support and direct combat roles is of great historic significance and I found the book riveting and hard to put down. A MUST read!

These military members are true heroes who just happen to women. Makes me proud to be an American!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An AMAZING Book
I am going to read this book again and again! I love the stories, and inspiration of this book.
Published 1 day ago by Anya
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Barbara B. Finley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting and makes the reader appreciate US servicewomen. Unbelievable what they have done!
Published 1 month ago by p safian
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong women in military
I enjoyed this book about strong women in the military. It put a positive spin on women in combat.
Published 2 months ago by LaBonita
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic.
Published 2 months ago by Janet Finley
5.0 out of 5 stars How proud to to learn of these women!
The second book I have read this year, that kept me riveting to every page. What an awe inspiring account of brave and fearless women. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reading this now - enjoying it very much. If you've been in the military your can relate.
Published 4 months ago by D. Jacobs
4.0 out of 5 stars Women in Combat: Some of their stories
The book does a good job of telling the stories of various women that have been involved in combat operations. It was more of a "this is what she said" book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love in.
#ARMEDFORCES we are 1! Love in...still reading.
Published 5 months ago by Katina Robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring and shows a true depiction of woman who adapt and...
I was surprised to learn that the author was not a soldier. As a female veteran, the author did a great job at voicing each woman's strength and attributes. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Melissa A. Overton
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