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

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
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 stru ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Stackpole Books
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Jan 27, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
I didn't finish this book. The stories were interesting (and heartbreaking), but the writing style was difficult for me to deal with. I was editing in my head the entire time.
Krista Stevens
May 02, 2013 Krista Stevens rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, girls, war
Serving on the front line of any war is beyond comprehension - to say nothing of Iraq - and add the twist that these stories are from the women who served on the front line. Their stories range from poignant to shocking in interviews that were turned into vignettes - some very brief - others much more detailed. Their bravery, dedication, intelligence as well as suffering from PTSD and physical disabilities is both heartening and disheartening. For many (as well as for their male counterparts), t ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Kelly rated it liked it
Not exactly what I was expecting, but an interesting read nonetheless. Holmstedt has interviewed dozens of women coming home from the war. Some that enlisted when they were in high school, some who were career military. It's an interesting look at what the women go through while overseas, and how things have changed since the first gulf war. Living in Virginia and going to a school with a corps I have many, many friends in the military. I cannot count the number of people that have come home rec ...more
Debi DeBacco
Aug 13, 2012 Debi DeBacco rated it it was ok
Somber stories of the challenges women deal with after returning from war. Even though it was depressing to read, thanks to Kirsten Holmstedt for telling these real life stories. It highlights the trauma and unmeet needs of these brave warriors. During the early years of the war, while the first of the women who served on the front lines came home, the military did not have the support sevices in place to help them cope. With each story, I became more upset at the way our military responded (or ...more
Jul 24, 2010 Ali rated it really liked it
I found this book helpful because it gives you an idea of what women soldiers are experiencing in war and how it affects them when they come home. How anyone can function after that I don’t know. I thought that there were places where the complexities of politics and personal responsibility came into play that were treated somewhat superficially by the author. Also at times there was too much focus on re-counting battle scenes and the technical details of war that were less interesting to me.
Jul 29, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it
This book is a series of stories about individual women and their experiences once that got home from Iraq. It was an eye-opener for me. We've all heard about vets' poor treatment from the VA hospitals, so that wasn't a surprise. But the racism both in and out of the service was a shocker to me. Also, it seems we (just me?) rarely hear of the long-term injuries sustained by these servicewomen. I suppose it's not much different from their male counterparts, but the whole concept of women warriors ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Jan rated it it was amazing
Having been a Navy wife and a son in the Marines and other military people in the family I was curious about the role of the women in this war and how it was affecting them. Very well written and interesting read with views from several women and even a little bit about them after their stories were written....
Aug 25, 2012 Nathaniel rated it liked it
The stories were good, but the writing was mediocre. The author would randomly switch in to first person or quote people without indicating the fact. It also felt like she left out important bridging information in some of the stories, she would be talking about something that happened like the reader knew it without her telling us about it.
Sep 13, 2014 Cyndi added it
As a female, a current service member and an OIF veteran, I found this an extremely difficult book to read as it brought back so many memories. I cried while reading this book, it brought back many emotions that I thought I had put to rest. Thank you Kirsten Holmstedt for bringing awareness to the public. God Bless.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I was expecting an overall analysis, rather than a collection of personal stories. And reading the personal stories just ... made me snarl. So many repetitions of the story of vets coming home hurt in various ways, and being treated like crap by the VA ... grr argh. Blood pressure elevating material.
Oct 27, 2009 Dru rated it it was amazing
Finally, someone has the courage to bring to light the one topic no one wants to discuss. This is a awesome read. Completely unbiased. Ms Holmstedt allows each woman to give her own story of her experiences of returning home from the front lines. This is a must read for anyone who has a female friend/family member in the military
Jan 10, 2012 Jolene rated it it was amazing
This book was definitely worth the 5 stars. It truly shows how the war has affected our soldiers, female and/or male, deployed or back home. It has definitely opened my eyes to our heroes that have served or are still serving in our armed forces.
Laurel Greene
Feb 09, 2013 Laurel Greene rated it it was amazing
This was such an eye opener. I never knew that so many women had gone to war and fought along side the men. Such courage and valor should never be forgotten. A must read.
Patricia Gall
Mar 07, 2010 Patricia Gall rated it liked it
Too sad the state of things when our girls come home and are basically thrown away by the military and the society the girls went to war to protect.
Ellie Revert
Painful to read about the scarred lives and minds of our soldiers, be they male or female. Think all should read these kinds of stories. (Nook)
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Kirsten Holmstedt grew up in Mystic, Connecticut. She graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2006 with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Nonfiction Writing.

Ms. Holmstedt was finishing her first year of graduate school in the spring of 2003 when the war in Iraq started.
More about Kirsten Holmstedt...

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