Soul of American Warriors

soulofISBN: 978-0-9824982-6-2

By Elizabeth Kilbride

A deeply moving story of a writer’s journey that shares a rare inside look into the protected world of our military. From the humble beginnings of growing up in a town built for returning war veterans in New York, during the Vietnam War; to her first deployment as an embedded writer with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq – this story is an experience that will certainly change your view of America and our military.

It is a powerful, moving story filled with humor, personal growth and one American’s view of what it is to be an American during wartime. Kilbride describes in vivid detail her realizations about life, politics and her fellow American’s upon her return.

Follow her as her view changes and she challenges the “truths” she thought she knew. Rich depictions of life in Washington DC among the movers and shakers are interspersed with stories of what is right and wrong with our country. Her epiphanies continue as she tours Vietnam with veterans of that war, as they go back for the first time.

The journey provides not only a rare, but truthful look into the inner workings of our military, our media and our political system.

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REVIEWS

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“Placing oneself between America and an ideology dedicated to destroy us and our rights, liberties and freedoms provides a perspective and appreciation for what made our nation great. This book clearly outlines the arduous process of going to combat that, unless you have experienced, one cannot comprehend the emotional roller coaster required just to prepare for departure. Once, having experienced the true meaning of "harms way," ones eyes are opened to the importance in your daily life of the documents by our Founding Fathers. The views contained in this book are germane and should be given serious thought by every citizen of our country. Action is required now!”

MGEN. Bob Hollingsworth, USMC Ret,
Former Director,
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (DoD)

"Soul of American Warrior" is a must read if you want to understand our young military men and women standing today in harm's way. Ms. Kilbride has done what others have failed to do. Having not only deployed to a combat zone with the troops, she lived with them under the most austere conditions and observed them as they carried out their assigned combat missions. Ms. Kilbride has not written about how our brave warriors are the enemy's worst nightmare. That is a given. She has written about them, as they stood tall as compassionate, caring, passionate Americans dedicated to helping the Iraqi people gain the freedoms we so frequently take for granted. You will be humbled as an American as you discover how great our young service men and women truly are and how they changed one American's life. This book is the "real deal".

B.Gen Larry Huggins, USAF (ret)

"Having deployed to Iraq, it’s easy to forget about the details of the journey just to get there which include preparations for deployment, notification of friends and family, and taking care of emotional issues like wills and powers of attorney. Ms Kilbride details those experiences as well as the difficulties encountered just to get to the final destination. As I read her accounts in Soul of American Warriors, a flood of memories came back about those forgotten details and what an profound impact they have on one’s psyche. She also emphasizes the fact that we aren’t being sent over there to fight in a war, we are being sent to help the Iraqi people gain independence by helping them with their basic essential needs such as food, water, and power not to mention helping them start a brand new democratic form of government. Working with Ambassador Khalilzad’s staff, that was my mission. This is a must read for anyone who has deployed, as well as those who want to experience what it’s like to step into the boots of soldiers as they proceed into unknown foreign lands where their destiny is trustingly placed in the hands of strangers."

Douglas P. Strand, Col, USAF

A deeply moving story of a writer’s journey that shares a rare inside look into the protected world of our military. From the humble beginnings of growing up in a town built for returning war veterans in New York, during the Vietnam War; to her first deployment as an embedded writer with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq – this story is an experience that will certainly change your view of America and our military.

At the invitation of a Marine Corps general, who was impressed by her book on World War II, Elizabeth Kilbride accompanied a Marine unit to Iraq for five weeks in the spring of 2006. This is a memoir of that journey along with one to battlefields in Vietnam.

In her own words, “I went from the average DC resident to boom, being in a war zone—no basic training for me…. Each one of the Marines made me feel like I was a part of their unit—a unique opportunity for a writer to have.” But though treated “as if I were their sister,” the ride was not all honeymoon for Kilbride. She quickly learned that “Independent media…are treated as their considered second-class citizens, unless you are a big name reporter.” Nonetheless, this was a “defining moment” in her life that would not have been possible if she were a “big name reporter.” She learned that there’s another side to the story in Iraq that’s not being reported by the media, a story “of our Armed Forces who are performing such amazing acts of compassion to help others in our name.” Kilbride reports this story with deft insight and a passion for truth. Especially provocative is her accusation that politicians and reporters exploit the armed services for political and personal gain by focusing solely on bombings and terrorist attacks. Consequently, the American people are ignorant of the good things the warriors are accomplishing in Iraq. “The forgotten warriors of this war are the Marines of the Al Anbar Province. This is probably because they do not complain, and are rarely mentioned in the media, unless there have been casualties.” This is a gross injustice that Kilbride claims can only be rectified by drastic action. “It is very clear when you consider the evidence being presented to us that there needs to be a complete change on Capitol Hill in upcoming elections. Both House and Senate need to be cleared out completely.” The media must also be held accountable for promoting mistrust and lies about the armed forces. “While the media plays politics using our military as fodder in their reports during war, they are aiding the enemy. This is a form of treason, which is dangerous and deadly to those in uniform….the media can take credit for any casualties, both during Vietnam and in the war in Iraq.” Bold words indeed. But how is this change in political opinion to take place? That everyone read Soul of American Warriors? Though she might like this, Kilbride suggests that the answer can only come when every American experiences a “defining moment,” like she has had. One profound suggestion is that every American visit a battlefield, walk inside a bunker, and feel the horror of war still residing there. This gutsy book lacks the grammatical polish of mainstream journalism, but rightfully so, since this is a dispatch directly from the heart. This book is highly recommended for relatives and friends of service members being deployed to a war zone. Every library serving a U.S. military community should acquire it.

Review by Richard Barone, MWSA Reviewer (May 2010)

Review by Military Writers Society of America

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MEDIA COVERAGE

http://www.theusreport.com/the-us-report/capt-bjorks-story-expands-with-media-coverage-personal-websi.htm

http://www.theusreport.com/the-us-report/kilbrides-iraq-memoir-delivers-surp

http://www.blackfive.net/

http://www.maritimetacticalsecurity.com/SupportingSites.aspx

http://thejimmyzshow.blogspot.com/2010/02/jimmy-z-wednesday-show_24.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/05/save-the-seals-62961423/

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/allfiredup/2010/04/13/military-monday

http://militarywriters.com/authors_K-O.htm

 

 

 

Authors

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Liz Thompson
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Dan'l C. Markham
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Michael P. Hamer
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Andrea Barringer
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Anne E. Sonnack-Garcia
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Daniel Thompson
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