Download The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq by Helen Benedict PDF

By Helen Benedict

More American girls have fought and died in Iraq than in any conflict on account that global battle , but as infantrymen they're nonetheless painfully by myself. In Iraq, just one in ten troops is a girl, and he or she usually serves in a unit with few different girls or none in any respect. This isolation, besides the military’s deep-seated hostility towards girls, reasons difficulties that many lady squaddies locate as challenging to deal with as battle itself: degradation, sexual persecution through their comrades, and loneliness, rather than the camaraderie that each soldier is determined by for convenience and survival. As one girl soldier stated, “I ended up waging my very own warfare opposed to an enemy wearing a similar uniform as mine.”
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In The Lonely Soldier, Benedict tells the tales of 5 ladies who fought in Iraq among 2003 and 2006. She follows them from their childhoods to their enlistments, then takes them via their education, to warfare and residential back, the entire whereas surroundings the war’s occasions in context.
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We meet Jen, white and from a working-class city within the heartland, who nonetheless shakes from her wartime traumas; Abbie, who rebelled opposed to a family of liberal Democrats via enlisting within the nationwide shield; Mickiela, a Mexican American who grew up with a kinfolk entangled in L.A. gangs; Terris, an African American mom from D.C. whose adolescence used to be torn via violence; and Eli PaintedCrow, who joined the army to keep on with local American culture and to flee a lifetime of Faulknerian difficulty. among those tales, Benedict weaves these of the 40 different Iraq struggle veterans she interviewed, illuminating the advanced problems with battle and misogyny, classification, race, homophobia, and post-traumatic pressure illness. every one of those tales is exclusive, but jointly they upload as much as a heartbreaking photo of the sacrifices ladies squaddies are making for this country.
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Benedict ends by means of exhibiting how those ladies got here to stand the reality of conflict and via delivering feedback for the way the army can increase stipulations for lady soldiers—including dispensing girls extra frivolously all through devices and rejecting male recruits with files of violence opposed to ladies. Humanizing, pressing, and robust, The Lonely Soldier is a clarion demand switch.

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Extra info for The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq

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Jen was oblivious to all this in high school, however. She ran track, played golf, became the first girl in school to join the wrestling team, and found friends among the older students. She knew little of the outside world and that didn’t bother her. She was beating boys at wrestling (she was in the lowest weight category at 103 pounds) and appearing in the local papers as a star. “Occasionally people still recognize me and say, ‘Oh, you’re that blond girl wrestler. ’ ” Once her older friends graduated, though, she became more aware of the blank facing her after twelfth grade.

Despite the snowy February air, her palm was sweating. Like Mickiela and Eli, Jen defies any stereotype of a female soldier as masculine or Amazonian. She is barely five feet one, slender and buxom. She has a round face that tapers to a little chin, a small sharp nose, and wide hazel eyes. Her golden hair hangs straight and glossy, curling under her jaw. Some days she wears quite a bit of makeup, but the day I visited all she had on was brown eyeliner, barely visible behind her glasses. She led me through the garage, stepping over a yellow Labrador and into a spotless kitchen with a white linoleum floor.

The sergeant shouted, and all the recruits had to bury their heads so they couldn’t see where they were going. ” and they had to jump down and run. 42 the lonely soldier “There’s hundreds of people running out at the same time with these bags, so everybody’s falling down and tripping over each other,” Mickiela said, laughing at the memory. Then began a charade like something out of a Marx Brothers movie, which would be repeated throughout basic training. “You go into this other room and they yell at you, ‘Line up!

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