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The Girls Come Marching Home: Stories of Women Warriors Returning from the War in Iraq [Kindle Edition]

Kirsten Holmstedt
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

  • Deeply personal and emotional accounts of more than a dozen American soldiers returning home from the war in Iraq; includes women from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard
  • Inspiring stories of courage while recovering from both physical and psychological wounds along with the frustrations of navigating the military bureaucracy to get help
  • How combat affects someone's entire life, including her family and friends

    In her award-winning Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq, Kirsten Holmstedt described how female soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are fighting on the front lines in Iraq despite the military's ban on women in combat. Now Holmstedt tells the stories of America's fighting women as they come home from Iraq. Some return with grave physical wounds, but all struggle with the psychological toll of battle while readjusting to life at home. As Holmstedt so poignantly shows, these women may have left the war, but the war will never leave them.

    Learn more now at author Kirsten Holmstedt's website.



  • Editorial Reviews

    About the Author

    A sought-after speaker on women in the military and a respected advocate for their cause, Kirsten Holmstedt has testified before Congress and appeared on PBS's NewsHour, BBC's The World, and C-SPAN, as well as local TV and radio programs across the country. Her previous book, Band of Sisters (978-0-8117-3566-7), received the American Authors Association's Golden Quill Award and the Military Writers Society of America's Founder's Award. Holmstedt lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 5994 KB
    • Print Length: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1 edition (June 23, 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B002USBFUE
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.4 out of 5 stars
    (44)
    4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    91 of 99 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Girls? And that's how they appear April 9, 2010
    Format:Hardcover
    Having served in Iraq as a female military member, I cringed when I read this book. After I cringed, I was annoyed. After I was annoyed, I wondered, "Hmmm, did the author get on Oprah like she so very much intended?"

    Far from giving an account of how women were "warriors" in Iraq, the author presents the women as weak, victimized, traumatized, and unable to function as well as their male counterparts. I suppose the intent is for us to feel sorry for these "girls", note their vulnerability and pity them for their drama.

    Though I don't mean to downplay the negative effects that hanging out in a combat zone can have on anyone, regardless of gender, the author did an incredible disservice to women. The word "girls" in the title should be the first hint at how the author views these soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors: As little girls for whom we should feel sad.

    The women I know from Iraq -- warriors -- groan that this book perpetuates an image of weak overly sensitive nurturing women scarred by combat.

    Next book -- though I hope there isn't one -- it might be nice if the author at least gives the subjects the title of "women" instead of girls, and relates what makes them "warriors" instead of victims to be pitied.

    This is an unfortuante book that is not an accurate cross-section or sample of women who served in Iraq.

    Not recommended.
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    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Joys and sorrow of coming home July 3, 2009
    Format:Hardcover
    I happened to receive a copy of this book "fresh off the press" almost 48 hours ago. This is an outstanding book! It tells the stories of a dozen or more women serving in the U.S. military and what their experience was of coming home from war.

    A few of the stories recount transitions that, relative to most of the stories, were triumphantly smooth. Most of the stories, though, tell of pain, sadness, frustration and obstacles of many kinds that complicate the process of adjusting to life outside the combat zone. I was educated about and astounded by how difficult it is for a vet to get medical attention. I had no idea how gruelling was the process of shifting one's identity from first sergeant to full-time mother.

    Even those stories, however, end on notes that are to various degrees uplifting. The never-say-die spirit that the women in this book display triumphs in the end in almost all cases.

    I read and enjoyed author Kirsten Holmstedt's "Band of Sisters." This is a perfect hand-in-glove partner to that book. I can imagine the two books sold as a set, in a nice slipcase! I encountered a few passages in "Marching Home" that need a bit more precision in description or narration. But apart from those moments, the writing is clean, cogent and coherent.

    In "Marching Home," Ms. Holmstedt does a superb job of differentiating these soldiers, Marines, sailors, "Coasties" and USAF specialists from one another--both in terms of military duties and wartime experiences, the different cultures of their branches of service, and most of all, their personalities. One can keep the people and the stories straight from one another--they do not seem like one story repeated a dozen times.
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    10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for our time. July 11, 2009
    Format:Hardcover
    The Girls Come Marching Home: Stories of Women Warriors Returning from the War in Iraq

    "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste and price the protected will never know."
    From the first page of Kirsten Holmstedt's book, I am reminded again why I've never been a fan of fiction. When the Girls Come Marching Home, Ms. Homstedt's latest release, shares compelling stories of real women as they battle for their country, their comrades, and then for their own restoration. Gut wrenching, thrilling, and true.
    As a peacetime Marine veteran married to a Marine veteran, I am quick to connect sacrifice to freedom, but these accounts recharged my appreciation for and resolve to protect the interests of our nation's returning veterans. Kirsten's vivid accounts draw us out from our lives of ease into a world only poorly depicted in the news accounts of our day. This book is required reading for the rest of us. Semper Fi and God Speed to our veterans and to the author.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Extremely depressing November 7, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I was looking forward to reading the book, but I was disappointed on two counts.
    First of all, it was so depressing that I found I had to keep "putting it down."
    I couldn't "live" with the women for any length of time.
    Book should have included a "balance" between "no potentially happy ending" stories and those of "potential success." (Out of all the stories (18, I believe), only two qualified)

    As a teacher of composition, I wanted help the author do some heavy editing. It might have helped if the author had used the 1st person to tell the story---even though the impact on the reader would have been more painful. The author had good intentions, but the writing was poor.

    I'm sorry, but I am not recommending the book to friends.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Important July 30, 2009
    Format:Hardcover
    We still overlook the experiences of women who have served--and are returning from millitary service.

    Society has visually intergrated the presence of women into many other capacities. We know that women are serving as police officers and firefighters. But we're subconciously reluctant to acknowllege that women are serving and admirably in combat. So their experiences and post-war needs can get accidentally overlooked when the nation attempts to have a discussion about 'veterans concerns' or 'veterans issues'.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars I think it would have been better if the actual soldiers were telling...
    This was a very slow read for me. I think it would have been better if the actual soldiers were telling their stories rather than having the author portray them. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by krnd
    5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting! Heart breaking! Inspiring!
    A great read. I was pleased to find a book that was written from the female hero's perspective. I am proud of all our veterans, but as a woman I am in awe of these wonderful... Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Pamela Stouder
    3.0 out of 5 stars The Girls Come Marching HOme
    This book turned out to be too emotionally challenging at the time I started to read it. Possibly I will read it again as it is downloaded onto my Kindle from Amazon. Read more
    Published 12 months ago by C. Yates
    4.0 out of 5 stars Its about time the women in uniform get some recognition!
    Very well written. I appreciate the author for recognizing the female service members who made a choice to join during a time of War.... Read more
    Published 14 months ago by JayJay
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
    Greats of the females warriors that sacrificed so much for our country and freedom. Such a good dynamic easy read
    Published 17 months ago by Mark F. McKinnon
    5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book
    I got this book cause my cousin wrote in this its the girl in the middle on the front cover her story is awesome in this book but anyway fast and speedy delivery to home packaged... Read more
    Published 18 months ago by melissa
    5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Book
    This book describes heroic contributions by females in the armed forces who efforts in the combat zone, too often go unnoticed. Read more
    Published 21 months ago by John L.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Must READ for Healthcare providers and before she signs up
    The stories are gripping. I couldn't put it down. BUT makes me feel terrible on how the government and the VA treat our nation's finest when they return from putting their lives on... Read more
    Published 22 months ago by L. Schlosser
    5.0 out of 5 stars the girls come marching home
    very impressive and moving, I strongly recommend it as a vet myself, i think that books such as this should be required high school reading
    Published on April 23, 2013 by victoria goessling
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.
    By the time I was done reading the book, I had profound respect for the ladies that served and re: all their troubles, I can't believe this still goes on in the service. Read more
    Published on April 4, 2013 by Cathie Russell
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