The Death and Life of Captain Nichola Goddard

Book - 2010
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I am sorry that the job that I do takes me away from you. I am sorrier still that sometimes I do stupid things and maybe put myself at risk. More, I wonder at the guys who follow my direction. I wonder about their families. I worry that I will hurt them, or cause my guys to be hurt…. Thank you for believing in me, my love…. I don't think that I could do this without that. Especially when things are hard and the decisions are unpopular. Especially when it is scary . —May 7, 2006A week after she wrote these words to her husband, twenty-six-year-old Captain Nichola Goddard became the sixteenth Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. She also earned herself a spot in the history books: the first female Canadian soldier to die in combat.Goddard, say her friends and family, would have hated being singled out for her gender: she was as strong, as capable and as brave as any male in uniform. She was not just a soldier on equal footing with her fellow troops; she was a leader—a "sunray," in military parlance—in one of the most dangerous positions in the armed forces, a Forward Observation Officer with the artillery unit.In Sunray: The Death and Life of Captain Nichola Goddard , award-winning journalist Valerie Fortney examines how a woman raised by self-described "left-wing hippies" came to find herself fighting—and dying—in Afghanistan. Based on in-depth interviews with Goddard's family, friends, and colleagues, as well as exclusive access to never-before-seen letters, Sunray tells the story of a remarkable 21 st -century soldier. It is an intriguing, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring look at the decision to serve, and at the costs.
Publisher: Toronto : Key Porter Books, 2010.
ISBN: 9781554703005
Characteristics: 327 p., [16] p. of plates :,col. ill. ;,23 cm.


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Jan 23, 2016

A great read. Very interesting and paints a vivid picture of Nichola Goddard as a outstanding soldier, strong, assertive, woman and an outgoing, well-liked, thoughtful human being.

However, the book didn't address why Nichola chose the military or arms trades. Fairly large questions given her background (which is extensively discussed), and directly related to the existence of the book. But apparently, no attempt to discuss them. The reader feels like they get to know Nichola through reading the book, but this aspect of her life is left as a black hole. I picked up the book wanting to know why a Canadian woman would go into the arms trade, and I'm still wondering.

Oh, and I would have liked to read more of her life in her own words.

Jan 31, 2012

An excellent read about another brave Canadian and how she excelled in the military. Not really as much written about her time in Afghanistan.

debwalker Jan 03, 2011

Biography of Nichola Goddard, a truly modern soldier and the first Canadian woman to die in combat.
A Chatelaine top pick.

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May 24, 2016

kb456 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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