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Miyoko Hikiji

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Miyoko Hikiji, “once a soldier deployed to Iraq with the Iowa National Guard’s 2133rd Transportation Corps, and now a model, actress, and author,” is the author of All I Could Be: The Story of a Woman Warrior in Iraq.

According to the book description of All I Could Be: The Story of a Woman Warrior in Iraq, “Before Washington officials said that women could go into combat, they were out there in the battle, but just not getting credit for it. Armed with M16 s and more robust firepower, women support troops backed up infantry units and got into the thick of it when called up to lend support.

Transportation troops, in Iraq and Afghanistan, driving the IED laden roads with critically needed ammunition and supplies were always in the combat zone, explosive devices frequently causing the loss of limb and life attested to that. iyoko Hikiji, a young woman from Iowa knows well of it well enough to write a book about it. All I Could Be My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq tells it just the way it was when, as a young woman in the Iowa National Guard, she was deployed to Iraq after the invasion ten years ago and discovered that the peaceful world she knew amid the Midwestern farm land had been replaced by the wind driven sand dunes of Iraq. Peace she discovered had become a pleasant and distant memory. Armed with an M16 and the equipment of the modern warrior, Miyoko was told to take her weapon into the cab of a truck, sit behind the wheel, and join a series of convoys. Each day she drove deeper into harm s way.

And each night was a nightmare in the making. Miyoko writes of one such night, "The infantry's mortar platoon, just down the street, zeroed in and returned fire. The opposite bank exploded. Then, two patrol boats fixed with automatic weapons screamed by opening fire along the bank. The radio on the patio lit up with chatter but we couldn't make out details. Moments later it was silent again. Voices on the radio became clear--all clear. Reluctantly we climbed out of the hole and returned to our tents. No one could sleep but no one wanted to talk. We lay silently in our bunks until the sun beckoned us to start another day."

 

And, another day always brought stress, fear and all that war brings. "It is my war story," writes Miyoko, "it is part military history, part personal revelation, part therapy, the stuff of so many war stories that have become a vital part of the great American tradition." "All I Could Be" is a fascinating beginning to a new chapter in that great tradition: the recognition of the woman warrior in America.”

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