“Military life poses significant challenges to women in many ways. Yet most are proud of having served their country and feel their time in the military was an important part of their lives. And as women continue to break barriers by joining every area of the military—including combat units—military culture will shift from a male-dominated organization to an institution where women are fully accepted, treated as equals, and encouraged to excel.”
This book highlights major topics about women in the military. It starts with the history of women serving dating all the way back to the Civil War, despite not being an official part of the military until WWII and not being allowed to officially hold combat positions until 2016. From there it outlines the modern military experience for women, providing information on how to join up, what jobs are available, what to expect from military life, and ending with what life is like for a female veterans and the process of integrating back into civilian life. The book highlights the stories of many female veterans ( both current and historical) as well as some still active in the military.
When I pulled this book out of my bag of library holds (Have you tried curbside pick-up at your local library? AMAZING!) I told myself I wasn’t going to review it. It was a thin volume with an audience of grades 9-12. That coupled with the somewhat niche topic, I figured the book might not appeal to a wide range of people. However, as I actually started reading the book, I reconsidered. First, I have no idea who might read this review. It could be a teacher, a counselor, someone raising young woman, or simply someone wanting a little more information about women in the military. Secondly, I was impressed with the information and the frankness with which it is presented. The author did not shy away from issues of sexism, discrimination, mental health, or sexual abuse and harassment. I found the material to be presented in a manner appropriate for the audience while not glossing over uncomfortable topics or sugarcoating them. My post title is pulled directly from a story told in the first 5 pages and I think perfectly exemplifies what that book is all about and the tone with which it’s addressed.
I am honestly surprised at how much I would recommend this book. Like I said, I definitely judged it by its cover initially. It’s a really great resource for getting the basic facts on life in the military from a female perspective, especially because it pulls a lot of the information directly from female veterans. It is definitely not the “definitive collection” since it is all of 100 pages, but it’s a good jumping off point.