How many stories of women veterans have you heard? This year I have had the chance to read books from women who are veterans. I have been working hard to beef up my reading skills this year. I have actually read a number of books this year but I love getting a chance to hear the stories of other women through their written word. You would think the Women of the Military Podcast would fill my cup of military women but there is nothing like a good book to draw you in and inspire you.
These are the books I read this year by women veterans. Books that are on my read list to read next. And a few honorable mentions of books that were not written by women veterans, but have a military connection.
Stories of Women Veterans
Mona Johnson is an immigrant from Egypt. She migrated to America in elementary school when her education ended because she was a woman. And she tells her story of growing up, being an immigrant, getting married to an abusive husband, and joining the military in her memoir. She faced so many challenges and I really enjoyed learning from her experience in America. Check out her interview on the podcast here. Hear her story on the podcast here.
Laura shares her traumatic experience of deploying to Iraq. This book is an in-depth look at the realities of pain that those who serve overseas sometimes face. I struggled to read the stories she shared, but also value the importance of sharing these stories. You can check out her interview on the podcast here. Hear her story on the podcast here.
Allie experienced so much pain in her life. An unexpected pregnancy, sexual assault, losing her husband, and continually facing challenges. Through it all, she continued to move forward and captured her experience in her memoir. It is an eye-opening look at the challenges and struggles women can face in the military.
Women of the Military is a compilation of 28 stories of women who have started their path to military life, are currently serving, separated, or retired. There are 4 stories from women in the process of joining, 14 stories from Air Force members, 8 stories from the Army, 1 from the Navy, and 1 from the Marine Corps. Check out more stories of military women on the Women of the Military Podcast.
On my list to read
Rojan Robotham is an Air Force Colonel and decided to write and collect stories and lessons from successful women in various industries. Stories that detail how they manage to balance their work, home, and personal lives. It speaks to the everyday working woman who is wondering how to succeed and find happiness in balancing the demands of a successful career with the responsibilities of having a full-time family.
B.R.A.N.D. Before Your Resumé is the first book written by a military veteran, Graciela Tiscanero-Sato (turned marketing professional and entrepreneur) for service members and military veterans to craft their AUTHENTIC personal branding.
Jet Girl: My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy’s Most Lethal Aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet
Caroline Johnson was an unlikely aviation candidate. A tall blonde debutante from Colorado, she could have just as easily gone into fashion or filmmaking, and yet she went on to become an F/A-18 Super Hornet Weapons System Officer. She was one of the first women to fly a combat mission over Iraq since 2011, and one of the first women to drop bombs on ISIS.
When I interviewed Jenell Hanf she said the best way to explain that work she did while deployed to Afghanistan was to recommend reading Ashley’s War. In 2010, the Army created Cultural Support Teams, a secret pilot support program to insert women alongside Special Operation soldiers. 1st Lt Ashley White was one of those women and died in service to our country.
is a compilation of 36 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans sharing their story through poetry. Titles by women veterans include Know the Mother by Desiree Cooper, Unforms and Permanent Change of Station by Lisa Stice, plus stories from Amy Zaranek, Sarah Maples, Meredith Wadley Laura Joyce-Hubbard, and Ellyana Gomez.
Honorable mentions (not written by Veterans, but related to military life):
This compilation of stories was written by military spouses. Sharing the experience from the other side of military life. I especially enjoyed the final section highlighting military spouses who are also veterans and yes, I’m one of those women featured.
This fictional novel based on real events was written by military child Claire Gibson. She takes you on a journey through the four years at West Point followed by the first few years of their military career. I couldn’t put it down it was so good.
Do you know the stories of Women Air Force Service Pilots? Not only will you learn the history of their story through Erin’s book, but you will also learn a little about getting laws written at Congress. An excellent read.
What does the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force know about leadership? Check out Deborah James’s advice through her book and also hear personal stories that shaped who she was as a parent and leader.
What book would you add to your list? What stories of women veterans do you think others need to hear?