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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.



Publication Date



University of North Carolina Press


Chapel Hill


Women veterans, Iraq war, Afghan war, personal narratives, war veteran personal narratives


School of Arts and Sciences


American Studies


American Studies | Military and Veterans Studies | Photography | Women's Studies


Listen to Podcasts@Boatwright and hear Dr. Laura Browder discuss When Janey Comes Marching Home.

Read the introduction to the book by clicking the Read More button above.

Photographs by Sascha Pflaeging.

When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans