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Kayla Williams
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Kayla Williams is the author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army. She was formerly a sergeant in a military intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). She is a member of VoteVets.org.

Entries by Kayla Williams

Dear Military Spouses: I'm Sorry

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 6:44 PM

I have a confession to make: I was a terrible Army wife, an awful military spouse.

My entry into that group came late and from what seemed like an odd direction. I enlisted in the Army at 22 and deployed to Iraq a few years later. When I came...

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The Bechdel Test for Kids' Shows

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 5:44 PM

I'm a woman veteran of the Army who advocates for women to have access to more jobs and units in the military, a person interested in how subtle environmental aspects can affect how we think and perform and the mother of a 2-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. Earlier...

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What VA Is Getting Right

(9) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 12:17 PM

It seems to be human nature to complain when something goes wrong but not praise success -- and the adage "If it bleeds, it leads" still seems to hold sway in most newsrooms. That's also true when it comes to the modern Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) -- we hear...

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When the War Comes Home

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 1:53 PM

The 10th anniversary of the Iraq War's beginning hit me a week late. The week of, I was so busy with a flurry of activities that the date didn't even register. Leading up to it, I'd written a couple of pieces about the upcoming milestone, so...

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Military Women Know How to 'Lean In'

(5) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 7:53 PM

There have been dozens of op-eds and blogs circulating recently in response to Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, and I've been devouring them in my limited free time. As a member of one of the key demographics her book targets -- a working woman with small children -- that...

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VA Health Care for Women Veterans

(1) Comments | Posted July 14, 2009 | 9:08 AM

As a Soldier with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), I took part in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, and was there for approximately one year. As an Arabic linguist, I went on combat foot patrols with the Infantry in Baghdad. During the initial invasion, my team came...

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On Torture

(218) Comments | Posted April 24, 2009 | 9:15 AM

I witnessed detainee abuse in Iraq and did not report it. I fully believe that we bear personal responsibility for our actions; this moral failing is my own burden, one I will carry with me for the rest of my life. But it has also influenced how I look at...

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Veterans' Unemployment

(4) Comments | Posted March 30, 2009 | 10:39 AM

Hello, my name is Kayla. I'm a combat veteran and I was on unemployment.

Admitting this publicly took years. I was deeply ashamed of what seemed a sign of my own weakness, my personal failings. But the news that unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is at 11.2% -...

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Being a Woman Veteran

(1) Comments | Posted March 25, 2009 | 9:51 AM

Last Wednesday, I was honored and proud to be invited to the SHOUT! Art by Women Veterans show put on in San Francisco by Swords to Plowshares, a great organization. It was amazing for me to be around so many other women veterans at one time. Normally, when I go...

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Army Suicides: My Experience

(45) Comments | Posted March 6, 2009 | 5:30 PM

It is 2004. I have been back from Iraq for a few months.

The gun is heavy in my hand, cold, solid. I sit on the edge of my bathtub and stare at it. The door is shut and I am alone. I can hear my own breathing, uneven.

This...

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