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Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women by Lita Tomas and Jean Marie McNamara

Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women by Lita Tomas and Jean Marie McNamara

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A shattering tell–all: the fight of this mother and daughter for themselves, each other, and the world around them is a painful yet riveting account of family, service, and love.

Lita and her daughter bare their souls with unflinching candor in this memoir. Forcing their darkest moments and the secrets of family, military, and disability into the light, their resilience and resolve stands as stark inspiration.

From painful high school haircut memories to rescuing their fellows from a flipped HMMWV, from sex work to podcasts, there’s romance, reality, and action in these pages. Authors Lita and Jean will pull you through the swarms of ticks at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin and the excruciating medical bureaucracy of Veteran’s Affairs to land you breathless by their side today. 

This is a story that needs to be read, a story that will help not only future generations to understand what it meant to be a soldier and a woman at this time, but also current generations to see how to build the support and outreach needed to thrive.

“Lita & Jean portrays the pain and struggle that too many of our veterans and military caregivers are forced to endure. At the same time, the story is a wonderful reminder of the joy and support that we can offer to each other, and how that mutual compassion and care strengthens our communities and the nation. Ultimately, this book demonstrates how everyday Americans continue to live up to the best of our nation's values. Stories like these are why I am so devoted to supporting those who serve, their families, and their caregivers." 

– Sen. Elizabeth Dole


282 Pages
Trim Size: 6 in x 9 in

ISBN/EAN: 978-1646630134

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Lita Tomas

Lita Tomas is the co-author of Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women. An army tank mechanic turned global logistics manager, Major Lita Tomas in fact enlisted as an E1 with the U.S. Army in 1977, the first year women were integrated into regular units. 

With a master’s degree in recreational therapy, five years in the air force, and a lifetime of fighting injustice taking on everyone from the Catholic church to Congress, she’s who you want on your team. When not feeding her youngest daughter’s chickens or cheering on her three grandchildren, you can find her working on her informational and patient advocacy podcast: PodcastDX!

Lita lives in Downers Grove, Illinois, with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease, two dogs, and her remaining undonated kidney.

Jean Marie McNamara

Jean Marie McNamara is the co-author of Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women. Like her mother, with a passion to help others Jean Marie McNamara began as an E1 in the U.S. army where she worked as a medic, as a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Radiological officer, and as Deputy Director of her local Emergency Services & Disaster Agency.

After an injury, Jean retired as a First Lieutenant and explored the challenges of recovery and endurance, working to claim new pathways of service and meaning. As a co-host for the award-winning PodcastDX, she loves researching diagnoses to feature.

Her wry sense of humor has been bolstered by bureaucracy, and her head and spine by nuts, bolts, and two metal bars.