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Summary

On June 29, 2009, Air National Guard major Mary Jennings "MJ" Hegar was shot down while on a medevac mission on her third tour in Afghanistan. Despite being wounded, she fought the enemy and saved the lives of her crew and their patients. But soon she would face a new battle: to give women who serve on the front lines the credit they deserve....

After being commissioned into the US Air Force, MJ Hegar was selected for pilot training by the Air National Guard, finished at the top of her class, then served three tours in Afghanistan flying combat search and rescue missions, culminating in a harrowing rescue attempt that would earn MJ the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device.

But it was on American soil that Hegar would embark on her greatest challenge - to eliminate the military's Ground Combat Exclusion Policy, which kept female armed service members from officially serving in combat roles despite their longstanding record of doing so with honor.

In Shoot Like a Girl, MJ takes the listener on a dramatic journey through her military career: an inspiring, humorous, and thrilling true story of a brave, high-spirited, and unforgettable woman who has spent much of her life ready to sacrifice everything for her country, her fellow man, and her sense of justice.

©2017 Mary Jennings Hegar (P)2017 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
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  • Pat
  • 10-03-17

You will laugh, cry, and be amazed.

Would you consider the audio edition of Shoot Like a Girl to be better than the print version?

I did not read the print version.

What did you like best about this story?

MJ did not hold back, she put her story out there for all to see, and experience. It took a lot of guts to cover the subjects she did. I loved the story about Jager, sometimes when humanity fails you, your pet (fur-baby) can keep you on track.

What does Cynthia Farrell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her tone and inflection at stressful parts vs times when MJ was being self reflective helped keep me in the moment.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The part about MJs father, not the biological one. The part about Jager. The parts about Zerk.

I've listed briefly the moments, i don't want to spoil the story for others, if you've read the book you'll know.

Any additional comments?

This is one of the best books i listed to in a while.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • 21-05-17

Absorbing

This is the memoir of Air Force Major Mary Jennings Hegar. She was a rescue helicopter pilot. She had successfully rescued hundreds of men and women off the battlefield. Hegar had served three tours in Afghanistan. The author briefly covers her time in high school and ROTC in college. Most of the book is about her time in military service.

Hegar tells of being shot down during a rescue mission. She was also shot by the Taliban. She fought through her injuries to save the three Americans that were the target of the rescue mission and her own team. Their ordeal culminated in a daring escape hanging onto the skids of a Kiowa helicopter. Major Hegar was awarded the Purple Heart. She was the sixth women to receive The Distinguished Flying Cross and only the second women ever to receive it with the Valor Device.

As exciting and interesting the combat part of the book was, the real story happened when she returned to the States. Hegar had to fight the military for access to combat related Veterans Services. After she stopped flying, she was refused a job she applied for in the Air National Guard. The reason for refusal was she was a woman; otherwise, she was qualified for the job. She had to sue the Secretary of Defense that the Combat Exclusion Policy was unconstitutional after all she had spent three tours in combat in Afghanistan even if the military ignored it. She won the case. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta removed gender discrimination from the military. Any position depends on meeting the qualifications for the job; and, if qualified, cannot be refused based on gender, race or religion.

The book is well written and is easy to read. There is a little violence and some foul language, but a teenager could read the book with no difficulty. The author does go into the sexual discrimination/harassment she had to endure during her flight training and during her service years. I believe I read that a movie is being made from the book.

The book is almost eight and a half hours long. Cynthia Farrell does a good job narrating the book. Farrell is an actress and audiobook narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • leighann montoya
  • 20-03-17

thank you for your service then and now

A beautifully written, honest reflection of what it means to go through hell and come home. With war and with any military service you never come home the same. The Warrior's Spirit forever lives inside of you. Thank you for continuing to fight for the female warriors of our country so that have their warrior spirit is defined by there actions and courage and not their gender,
Warmest regards,
Leighann Montoya
Former US Army Sergeant ,91B combat medic. Mom of two warrior young women

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rwind
  • 16-03-17

Awesome! It would be my honor to salute you Ma'am!

If you care about the security of our nation you are duty bound to read this book. Carry on soldier.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah J.
  • 24-04-18

nerves of steel

I wish our political leaders had as much bravery guts and principles as the fighter pilot in this story.

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  • Alex
  • 12-02-18

Fantastic!

A great true story of Mary Jennings Hegar who was shot down over Afghanistan. most of the story focuses on her time in the air Force leading up to the situation that brought her helicopter down but nonetheless it is full of humor, turmoil, challenges, and resiliency that will leave you wanting more. the performance from the narrator was excellent as well, aside from some military bases or acronyms that we're pronounced wrong, which I do not blame the narrator for, the performance made me feel as if it were major Jennings herself. definitely a top 10 book.

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  • Sean
  • 28-01-18

excellent read!

excellent narration combined with a great story of service to country from the female prospective

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  • roy dossey
  • 13-01-18

Surprisingly good

I got this book by mistake...boy am I glad I didn’t return it...such a great story

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  • LDL
  • 30-11-17

Inspiring story well written and well read

MJ is a modern hero who does a great job of explaining her journey in the Air Force in language that is easily understable to both fellow veterans and civilians.

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  • Pete
  • 14-10-17

amazingly read and written

this book helped me seek confidence through OCS. every man and woman in service should read this. especially those in leadership!