When Janey Comes Marching Home

Portraits of Women Combat Veterans

By Laura Browder, Sascha Pflaeging

Photographs by Sascha Pflaeging

168 pp., 10 x 9, 48 color photographs , notes, bibl., index

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-9833-8
    Published: May 2010
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8542-5
    Published: May 2010

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While women are officially barred from combat in the American armed services, in the current war, where there are no front lines, the ban on combat is virtually meaningless. More than in any previous conflict in our history, American women are engaging with the enemy, suffering injuries, and even sacrificing their lives in the line of duty.

When Janey Comes Marching Home juxtaposes forty-eight photographs by Sascha Pflaeging with oral histories collected by Laura Browder to provide a dramatic portrait of women at war. Women from all five branches of the military share their stories here--stories that are by turns moving, comic, thought-provoking, and profound. Seeing their faces in stunning color photographic portraits and reading what they have to say about loss, comradeship, conflict, and hard choices will change the ways we think about women and war.

Serving in a combat zone is an all-encompassing experience that is transformative, life-defining, and difficult to leave behind. By coming face-to-face with women veterans, we who are outside that world can begin to get a sense of how the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shaped their lives and how their stories may ripple out and influence the experiences of all American women.

The book accompanies a photography exhibit of the same name opening May 1, 2010, at the Women in Military Service to America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, and continuing to travel around the country through 2011.

About the Authors

aura Browder is professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is author, most recently, of Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America, and is writer and coproducer of the documentary film Gone to Texas: The Lives of Forrest Carter, based on her book Slippery Characters: Ethnic Impersonators and American Identities (both books UNC Press).
For more information about Laura Browder, visit the Author Page.

Sascha Pflaeging is a freelance photographer for clients such as Getty Images, CBS, and Us Magazine.
For more information about Sascha Pflaeging, visit the Author Page.


"Readers may be tempted to deify these women for their contributions to the continuing struggle for female equality, but their unflinching accounts unfold to a tangible and poignant humanity."--Library Journal

"Candid and touching, with resonant photographs from Pflaeging, these brief narratives give voice to a too-often-overlooked aspect of female American experience."--Publishers Weekly

"[A] wonderful volume. . . . A fitting testament and tribute to our country's uniformed . . . heroines."--America

"This collection of images and stories of female veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan gets to the heart of issues such as loss, camaraderie, and conflict, as well as motherhood, marriage, and sexism."--Military Officer

"Browder has compiled an eloquent documentary on the printed page from women whose views vary widely--and a tribute to and appreciation of their daily lives in war zones."--News Review

"[This] book is essential both for serious scholars of the current conflict and for historians of gender relations in American society"--Army History