Updated: Jul 14, 2019
A dramatic true story of one woman’s brave and selfless fight to serve her country and to improve opportunities for those women following in her footsteps.
SUMMARY In 2009, Air National Guard Major Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar was shot down by the Taliban while on a medevac mission on her third tour in Afghanistan. Despite being wounded in the arm and leg, she fought off the enemy and save the lives of her crew and their three patients.
Hegar had dreamed of being a pilot for most of her life, and was lucky enough to have an encouraging stepfather. After she was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force, Hegar was selected for pilot training by the Air National Guard, where she finished at the top of her class. She served three tours in Afghanistan flying hundreds of combat search and rescue missions culminating in the harrowing rescue that would earn Hegar the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor. But on the home-front, Hegar would fight a great challenge as well. She sought to eliminate the Department of Defense Ground Combat Exclusion Policy, which kept women from serving in combat roles, despite their long standing record of doing so with honor. A lawsuit was filed by the ACLU with Hegar as a plaintiff arguing the unconstitutionality of the exclusion. That ban was lifted by then Secretary of Defense Leon Panneta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2012.
REVIEW Hold on tight for this gripping and enlightening biography. MJ Hegar followed her heart, and has done an astounding job at telling her story of her experiences. Her integrity and perseverance was front and center in her service to our country despite the many hurdles (discrimination) she had to overcome. She shares about her fight with the Taliban, the military and even the Pentagon. Her writing is engaging, and her rescue stories are breathtaking. Most importantly, is that the culmination of all of her experiences has lead her to a new mission where she has opened up opportunities for other women who choose to serve on the military. A true bluestocking woman! Thank you MJ Hegar for your service to this country and especially for making a difference for future generations of women. Publisher: Penguin Berkley/Recorded Books. Published March 7, 2017.
“This is what I was made for. I felt it in my gut. In the last hour, I’d been shot by the Taliban, had my aircraft riddled with bullets, and landed hard in enemy territory. ‘I can do this. I am not scared.’ At that moment I wouldn’t have switched spots with anyone in the world, because I knew I was the best person for the job.”