SHE WENT TO WAR by Rhonda Cornum


The Rhonda Cornum Story
by & illustrated by
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 A soldier's story of the Gulf War--with a twist: The author, who was taken prisoner by the Iraqis, is a woman, wife, and mother, as well as a flight surgeon in the army. Alternating accounts of her army life at home and in Saudi Arabia, Cornum, a major, describes the events that led to her capture in the Iraqi desert (Iraqis shot down the helicopter flying her to the rescue of a downed pilot); her subsequent imprisonment; and her unexpected release and joyous homecoming. With a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell, Cornum joined the army because she wanted to go to a military medical school rather than a civilian one. She'd never had much school spirit, ``but all of a sudden in the army, I found the spirit and I loved it.'' She learned to fly helicopters, completed a grueling paratrooper course, and rose to become head of a research division at Fort Rucker. The Iraqi soldiers who found her badly wounded--Cornum suffered from a bullet wound, two broken arms, and dislocated knees--treated her harshly: She was interrogated often, moved from place to place blindfolded, and received only rudimentary care. Her injuries finally were treated properly in Baghdad, where, unaware that the war was over, she prepared herself for a lengthy imprisonment. Reunited with friends and family, Cornum found herself a celebrity back home. Here, she relates her harrowing experience with quiet courage, offering perceptive insights into army life, the role of women in combat--which she favors--and the support that comes from what she calls ``unit bonding.'' A fast-paced story as much about war and one remarkable woman as about the tenacity of the human spirit. (Sixteen b&w photographs, one map--not seen.)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-89141-463-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Presidio/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1992


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