Love My Rifle More Than You

Love My Rifle More Than You

Young and Female in the U.S. Army

Book - 2006
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Kayla Williams is one of the 15 percent of the U.S. Army that is female, and she is a great storyteller. With a voice that is "funny, frank and full of gritty details" (New York Daily News), she tells of enlisting under Clinton; of learning Arabic; of the sense of duty that fractured her relationships; of being surrounded by bravery and bigotry, sexism and fear; of seeing 9/11 on Al-Jazeera; and of knowing she would be going to war.With a passion that makes her memoir "nearly impossible to put down" (Buffalo News) Williams shares the powerful gamut of her experiences in Iraq, from caring for a wounded civilian to aiming a rifle at a child. Angry at the bureaucracy and the conflicting messages of today's military, Williams offers us "a raw, unadulterated look at war" (San Antonio Express News) and at the U.S. Army. And she gives us a woman's story of empowerment and self-discovery.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2006, c2005
ISBN: 9780393329223
Branch Call Number: 355.00820973 Wil 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 292 p. :,ill
Additional Contributors: Staub, Michael E.


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Jul 04, 2011

This book was written by a female army linguist who served in Iraq. The writing seemed like excerpts from a journal.
The title of the book comes from an army marching chant: Cindy, Cindy, Cindy Lou/love my rifle more than you/you used to be my beauty queen/now I love my M16.
Although she doesn't define herself as a feminist, the author writes frankly about the rampant sexism in the military. She states that women in the military are considered to be one of two things: a slut or a bitch. The men define the slut as someone who sleeps with everyone. The bitch is defined as someone who sleeps with everyone except you. Yikes.
Before she joined the military she'd had a Muslim Jordanian boyfriend so she felt she could relate to the people of Iraq, their language, religion and customs. To her dismay, eventually she began to feel like most of the Army military in Iraq - she was sick and tired of them. She tries to explain how war impacts a person. She talks of her own depression in Iraq and the high suicide rate among American soldiers serving there.
She writes of serious things and not so serious things: trying to find vegeterian food, talking with the locals (she speaks Arabic), being asked to participate in humilating a naked Iraqi prisoner,and her problems with her supervisors.
She seems liberal at times but then disconcertingly conservative (she likes Ayn Rand). She refers to male soldiers as men and female soldiers as girls. They deserve respect; they deserve to be called women.
The book isn't the best book out there about the war but it's a quick and easy read and it helped me understand what it's like over there.

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