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All I Could Be (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 269
 
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Author:
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


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Takes readers inside the military experience.

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As a memoir, it can only tell one side of the story.


Final Fiendish Findings?

All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq gives readers a look inside author Miyoko Hikiji’s deployment to Iraq. Covering issues ranging from the loss of fellow troops, to sexual harassment, to pride in service, this is book not to be missed by anyone who has ever wondered what it’s really like.

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Posted July 25, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“Be all that you can be…”

Miyoko Hikiji offers a behind the scenes perspective on being a woman in the modern military. An in-depth look at her time spent fighting during a National Guard deployment in Iraq, All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq offers Hikiji’s unique perspective on such divisive issues as women in combat, bias against both Asians and females, fraternizing with other troops, and ineffective leadership. With an eye towards telling it like it is, this is a story that truly puts the readers into the shoes of a soldier.

As a young woman, Miyoko Hikiji joined the Army, like so many others, as a way to help pay for college and to honor a family military tradition. Upon leaving the Army and entering college, she enlisted in the Iowa National Guard, never dreaming of the way things would so drastically change after the tragedy of 9-11. Just three days before her contract with the Guard was to end, she was called up on deployment orders. The story that follows covers her time in training as her unit awaited orders, their difficult time in Iraq, and their triumphant journey home.

The book covers a wide variety of topics, and Hikiji takes great care not to sugar coat the way things really were. Compiled from notes, letters, and articles from her time spent in the military, it really gets at the heart of it. Have you ever wondered how just a few females amidst hundreds of males handle things like rooming, snagging a shower, or even hanging undergarments up to dry? How does an organization with a long standing tradition of being primarily male dominated react to the few females in their midst?  What kinds of conditions were our soldiers subjected to in the Middle East?

While the book concentrates primarily on the experience of being a female soldier in Iraq, it is told from a very personal perspective, romance and all. As Hikiji recounts her own personal struggles, she also tells a heartwarming story of finding love in a difficult situation. In a place where each mission could result in you or your buddies not making it back home, finding something to hold onto in the darkness makes things a little less unbearable, which the author illustrates beautifully.

All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq gives readers a look inside author Miyoko Hikiji’s deployment to Iraq. Covering issues ranging from the loss of fellow troops, to sexual harassment, to pride in service, this is book not to be missed by anyone who has ever wondered what it’s really like.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)