Photo by Spc. Sara Wakai

They were a sisterhood of female combat soldiers, the "alphas of the alphas," who initially served in direct combat with Army Rangers and Green Berets two years before the prohibition against women in combat roles was lifted in 2013. Cultural support teams, women soldiers specially selected and trained to serve alongside special operations forces in direct combat, served on the battlefields of Afghanistan from 2011 until the close of combat operations in 2014. “Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield,” Gayle Tzemach Lemmon's new book profiling these teams, follows the first group of women to be selected for and deployed in support of U.S. Army special operations forces with the specific mission of accompanying operators in combat to engage with any women and children who might be on the objective.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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