Kirsten A. Holmstedt is the author of three books, Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq and The Girls Come Marching Home, and the soon-to-be-released Soul Survivors. She is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and of the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2006 with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Nonfiction Writing. Over the past 30 years, Ms. Holmstedt has written for newspapers, businesses, academia, and magazines. She has won awards for her writing at the regional and national levels.
Ms. Holmstedt was finishing her first year of graduate school in the spring of 2003 when the war in Iraq started. Living in Jacksonville, North Carolina, near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Ms. Holmstedt was in an ideal location to initiate her research of women serving in combat. In the following years, she traveled throughout the United States and spent hundreds of hours interviewing female soldiers, Marines, airmen, and sailors.
As part of her research, Ms. Holmstedt flew to an aircraft carrier off the coast of Florida to interview a woman who worked on the flight deck of the USS Harry S. Truman and to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to meet a soldier who had been wounded by IEDs. She also traveled to Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, and other military installations. She talked to the women in person, by phone, and through e-mail as they traveled back and forth between Iraq and Afghanistan and their home bases.
In January 2007, Ms. Holmstedt was part of a panel of authors who spoke to congress members in Washington, D.C. about the war in Iraq.
Ms. Holmstedt is a member of the Military Writers Society of America.