A riveting account of four women who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with men in Iraq and Afghanistan and worked with local women to restore their lives and village communities
They marched under the desert heat with 40-pound rucksacks on their backs. They fired M16s out of the windows of military vehicles, defending their units in firefights during some of the deadliest campaigns in Al-Anbar and Helmand provinces. And they did things that their male counterparts could never do–gather intelligence on the Taliban from the women of Afghanistan. As females they could circumvent Muslim traditions and cultivate relationships with Afghan women who were bound by tradition not to speak with American military men. And their work in local villages helped empower Afghan women, providing them with the education and financial tools necessary to rebuild their nation–and the courage to push back against the insurgency that wanted to destroy it. For women warriors it was dangerous, courageous, and sometimes heartbreaking work.
Beyond the Call follows the groundbreaking journeys of four women as they first fight military brass and culture and then enemy fire and tradition. And like the men with whom they served, their battles were not over when they returned home.
Following the historic decision by the Pentagon and former defense secretary Leon Panetta to open combat roles to women, Beyond the Call proves that women are assets in our modern military deployments in ways men could never be.