Plenty of Time When We Get Home
Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War
In October 2003, Sergeant Kayla Williams of the 101st Airborne Division anxiously awaited news of fellow soldier Brian McGough, wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. On returning home, Williams and McGough began a tentative romance and later married, but neither anticipated the consequences of McGough’s injury on their lives. With little information available about the long-term effects and potential for recovery from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress, and lacking essential support for returning veterans from the military and the VA, Williams and McGough suffered through his violent mood swings, her struggles to reintegrate into a country still oblivious to women veterans, and what seemed the indifference of civilian society at large. Never willing to abandon a fallen comrade, Williams persevered. So did McGough, until both found paths to healing and wholeness—as individuals and as a family.
W. W. Norton, 2014
Love My Rifle More Than You
Young and Female in the U.S. Army
Kayla Williams is one of the 15 percent of the U.S. Army that is female, and she is a great storyteller. With a voice that is “funny, frank and full of gritty details” (New York Daily News), she tells of enlisting under Clinton; of learning Arabic; of the sense of duty that fractured her relationships; of being surrounded by bravery and bigotry, sexism and fear; of seeing 9/11 on Al-Jazeera; and of knowing she would be going to war.
With a passion that makes her memoir “nearly impossible to put down” (Buffalo News) Williams shares the powerful gamut of her experiences in Iraq, from caring for a wounded civilian to aiming a rifle at a child. Angry at the bureaucracy and the conflicting messages of today’s military, Williams offers us “a raw, unadulterated look at war” (San Antonio Express News) and at the U.S. Army. And she gives us a woman’s story of empowerment and self-discovery.
W. W. Norton, 2005