Book Review: Ashley's War by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon has all the drama and rising tension of a thriller.

Even though this amazing story is told with the dispassionate voice of a narrator who never resorts to verbal histrionics to portray the drama, make no mistake: this book about the first "Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield" is compelling in every way.  

Book Details

Hardcover: 293 pages
Publisher: Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
First Edition 2015
ISBN: 978-06-233381-0
USA $26.99
Canada $33.50

Special Ops Needed Special Assistance

Everyone has heard of SEAL Team Six, Delta Force, Army Ranger Snipers, and the other elite special operations units serving our country. If you're into military memoirs, you probably know about JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) who coordinates special op forces, along with all the other acronyms regarding the world of the modern warrior. The modern male warrior.

Special ops and combat troops have always been the purview of men. Afghanistan changed that. Suddenly, our country was in a war where they couldn't stop, search, or speak to the women of  Afghanistan. Even when soldiers thought they were being sensitive to the Muslim religious tenets, they often unwittingly committed offenses.

To some stationed in Afghanistan, it became readily apparent that women could gain access to places and people forbidden to men. Thus the idea of Cultural Support Teams, staffed by women, was born. Women of the CST could build relationships and gain information from women in ways men simply could not.

Ashley's War is the story of the women of CST-2 who went through selection aka Hell Week in hopes of obtaining a place in the special ops community and be posted with a special ops team in Afghanistan.

Patriotism & Heroism: Not Gender Specific

Some may think that only men feel the fierce beat of patriotism in their hearts. Not true. Women feel this too. Perhaps it's because of the way some people are raised--with the idea that love of country is as important as love of of God. Patriotism beats stronger in some hearts, and it has nothing to do with male or female.

The women who answered the call to try to win a slot in a Cultural Support Team were bound together by their love of excelling physically and mentally, by their desire to challenge themselves, and by their desire to serve to their full potential. They were willing to risk all for the chance to serve their country.

Highly Recommended

This book reveals what I've always known. Women can do anything if given the chance. These women never backed down, never threw in the towel, and never complained. They fought alongside combat troops when that was what was needed, and they gathered information and built relationships when that was what was needed.

If you'd like to know the truth about the war we've fought in the Middle East, read Ashley's War. It's not just a memoir about these brave women. This is a revelatory study of the often-conflicting role of women in war, special operations, the Middle East conflict, and the challenges our service men and women faced there. It's also insight into the reasons why so many chose to serve despite multiple deployments.

Add Ashley's War to Your Library

Ashley's War is available at most book sellers including Amazon. Buy from Amazon: Hardcover * Kindle.

Takeaway Truth

Remarkable and compelling, this is a story you will remember long after you've finished reading Ashley's War.

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