"The Lonely Soldier" -book by Helen Benedict

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by debcst, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Has anyone else on this forum read this book?

    DS's interest in attending a SA and serving as an officer has launched me on a kick of reading almost any current, US military-interest works I can get my hands on. This forum has been a source of many good recommendations.

    Not sure I'd recommend this book (nor was it recommended here- found it at my local library)...but I am curious to hear feedback from others who have read it.

    It paints an extremely bleak portrait of life for enlisted women, making it sound as though it is not possible for a woman to gain the respect of the male soldiers with whom she serves and not likely for a woman to experience military life without being raped or at minimum constantly sexually harassed.

    I have difficulty believing that this is an accurate portrayal. I would love for those with military experience to weigh in.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I have not read the book, but from what you say, it doesn't ring accurate to me.
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The book is non-fiction - the story of 5 enlisted females.
    Just because their stories are ones we find difficult to comprehend does not make them untrue.

    Knowledge is power. Learn and read all you can - even the difficult stories.
    Two other books that are about females serving in the military are:
    Band of Sisters by Kristen Holmstedt. She also recently published "The Girls Come Marching Home".
    "Love my Rifle more than You" was written by Kayla Williams. This book is an autobiography.

    I don't think reading negative stories should necessarily have an impact on the decision of a female to join the military. I think learning as much about the culture - both good and bad is beneficial.
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Well, there is a difference between true and common. Sexual assault and harassment do occur in the military, and that is a shame. How often is rather hard to determine, given the statistical underreporting of sexual assaults.
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Then you agree it is more common than would appear?
    This book is more than about sexual assault. It's about Enlisted women not being taken seriously by her male comrades.
    Sure, anyone can claim this is all anecdotal --- it's easy to do when one woman tells her story. But, when multiple women over the course of years tell similar stories a pattern begins to emerge and people take notice.

    It's been widely reported that female soldiers who served in Iraq are/were more likely to be assaulted by the soldiers with whom she serves than the enemy.
    Can you imagine that? How can an Army go to war when it's soldiers are more likely to be injured by their own than the enemy?
     

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