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Beyond the Call: Three Women on the Front Lines in Afghanistan

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From award-winning journalist Eileen Rivers, comes a riveting account of three women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan—their dangerous, courageous, and often heartbreaking work was vital in defeating the Taliban and instrumental in the Pentagon’s landmark decision to open all combat jobs to women. The three subjects of Eileen Rivers’s groundbreaking work of literary report From award-winning journalist Eileen Rivers, comes a riveting account of three women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan—their dangerous, courageous, and often heartbreaking work was vital in defeating the Taliban and instrumental in the Pentagon’s landmark decision to open all combat jobs to women. The three subjects of Eileen Rivers’s groundbreaking work of literary reportage lived in the sand pits of Iraq and Afghanistan. They carried 40 pounds of supplies in rucksacks and avoided roadside bombs as they fell in step with their male counterparts during long marches in the searing desert heat. They fired weapons out of the windows of military vehicles to help protect the men in their units. They did everything their male counterparts did in the throes of some of the toughest combat zones in the Middle East. They also had a unique advantage over their male counterparts and their enemy: they were women. They risked their lives to gather intelligence on the Taliban from the women of Iraq and Afghanistan. They utilized their femininity (previously viewed as a hindrance in combat zones) as an asset to circumvent Muslim traditions and cultivate relationships with, spy on, and frisk women who were viewed as connections to the Taliban—women who were bound by tradition and refused to talk to American military men.   As members of the Female Engagement Teams (FET), the work of these three women and hundreds of others like them was vital in defeating the Taliban. It was dangerous, courageous, and often heartbreaking. Their work, like much of the work done by military women who have served in war zones before them, contributed to the Pentagon’s December 2015 decision to open all combat jobs to women. Yet the work of these American military women remains mostly unknown. This book is the first to tell the stories of these female military accomplishments.


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From award-winning journalist Eileen Rivers, comes a riveting account of three women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan—their dangerous, courageous, and often heartbreaking work was vital in defeating the Taliban and instrumental in the Pentagon’s landmark decision to open all combat jobs to women. The three subjects of Eileen Rivers’s groundbreaking work of literary report From award-winning journalist Eileen Rivers, comes a riveting account of three women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan—their dangerous, courageous, and often heartbreaking work was vital in defeating the Taliban and instrumental in the Pentagon’s landmark decision to open all combat jobs to women. The three subjects of Eileen Rivers’s groundbreaking work of literary reportage lived in the sand pits of Iraq and Afghanistan. They carried 40 pounds of supplies in rucksacks and avoided roadside bombs as they fell in step with their male counterparts during long marches in the searing desert heat. They fired weapons out of the windows of military vehicles to help protect the men in their units. They did everything their male counterparts did in the throes of some of the toughest combat zones in the Middle East. They also had a unique advantage over their male counterparts and their enemy: they were women. They risked their lives to gather intelligence on the Taliban from the women of Iraq and Afghanistan. They utilized their femininity (previously viewed as a hindrance in combat zones) as an asset to circumvent Muslim traditions and cultivate relationships with, spy on, and frisk women who were viewed as connections to the Taliban—women who were bound by tradition and refused to talk to American military men.   As members of the Female Engagement Teams (FET), the work of these three women and hundreds of others like them was vital in defeating the Taliban. It was dangerous, courageous, and often heartbreaking. Their work, like much of the work done by military women who have served in war zones before them, contributed to the Pentagon’s December 2015 decision to open all combat jobs to women. Yet the work of these American military women remains mostly unknown. This book is the first to tell the stories of these female military accomplishments.

30 review for Beyond the Call: Three Women on the Front Lines in Afghanistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter Murray

    An illuminating read about so many challenges faced by women in Afghanistan - and by women in the U.S. military. Rivers’ reporting is fast-moving and engaging. A must read for for those interested in learning about the shamefully under-reported and misinformed role of our women in uniform.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lorena

    Great book! Made me wish I could go back to my younger self and enlist in the military and accomplish what many of these women did. I loved the first person and third person perspectives. Happy that the author was prior military herself, and not just a journalist as that added some insight and military respect that an outsider may not have had. I learned quite a few things that I did not know and some I thought I knew, but really didn’t. Worth the read

  3. 5 out of 5

    Saleena Berry

    This book is so important. Reading each woman's story really opened my eyes to what it's like fighting in combat, and the struggles woman still face today. Being a feminist, this book definitely suited my taste of current issues I enjoy learning about. It's so disappointing that a country that claims to be free and equal, has yet to cover so many issues regarding equality between sexes - one obviously being combat. Each woman's story was so inspiring. As much as I loved the message and history t This book is so important. Reading each woman's story really opened my eyes to what it's like fighting in combat, and the struggles woman still face today. Being a feminist, this book definitely suited my taste of current issues I enjoy learning about. It's so disappointing that a country that claims to be free and equal, has yet to cover so many issues regarding equality between sexes - one obviously being combat. Each woman's story was so inspiring. As much as I loved the message and history this book portrayed, I just wasn't a huge fan of the writing style and format. Overall, however, it was a great read. A great place to start when looking to learn about the difficulties woman face regarding combat, and equality issues in general.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    An interesting book, written by someone who knows the subject. Hard to follow and keep track of. It's the separate story of 3 women, but seems more complicated. Why is the army, and the men running it, so clueless.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    This is an interesting read of a true story based on three women that risk their lives and leaving their families to do their time in Aghanistan. I didn't go through this as fast as I thought I would even though it is not very long. It is very detailed which made me want to read it slower to understand what was going on. There is a trigger warning for suicide in here. Otherwise it was an ok book. I still recommend for people that like true stories of women helping our country.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erik Sapp

    I was hoping the book would go into more detail about what the FETs did. That was never really addressed, and I finished the book still wondering about the details of their jobs.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Great, deserving topic. Writing leaves much to be desired. Repetitive, meanders off the point, boring.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Starr Peele

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judy K Rowley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  16. 4 out of 5

    Torri

  17. 5 out of 5

    PWRL

    A

  18. 5 out of 5

    William Frank

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alice Schuman

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Genny Moore

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debbi Mack

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cori Beasley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Boyle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Henry Holland

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