They are often the unsung heroines of war whose stories go unheard -- until now.
A local veteran is inviting women warriors to share their stories in a new book she hopes will heal and inspire. Nichole Bowen shares her story and is collecting others for "The Lady Warrior Project.”
"I just want other women who've gone through what I've gone through in combat that they can heal. There are other women who have walked in their shoes," said Bowen.
Army Specialist Rosie Barton just returned from Afghanistan. Her mission was to do something no male soldier can -- establish relationships with Afghan women as a means of collecting intelligence.
"Am I walking in blind? Yes. Do I know what I'm walking into? No, not at all. They're willing to tell us, 'Hey, there's an IED down the road,' or 'Hey, this is the guy who's doing this,’" said Barton.
A mission fraught with risk and, for Barton, countless close calls.
"There was a grape hut which we took very heavy fire from," recalls Barton. "It's that feeling of looking up and seeing bullets firing ten feet from your face. You're wondering, ‘Is this it for me?'"
Every soldier’s story is unique. But for women warriors, every story shares common ground. And through the Lady Warrior Project, for the common good.
"For other women to look at what we're doing and say, 'Wow they're doing some badass stuff,' I think that's awesome," said Barton.
"There is something really powerful about sharing your story and not having shame in sharing your story and finding support," said Bowen.
The Lady Warrior Project is accepting story submissions from active duty and retired military women through August 31.