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Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD


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, the Catholic Church, military, and disability into  the light, their resilience and resolve stands as stark inspiration.  

From painful high school haircut memories to rescuing their fellow soldiers from a flipped  vehicle, 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.    

Lita & Jean is a book that needs to be read and shared. This memoir will help future  generations understand what it meant to be a soldier and a woman at this time, and current  generations how to build the support and outreach needed to thrive.

Buy the book.

Author Bios

Lita Tomas:
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:
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.


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