Iowa Author Miyoko Hikiji, born in Cedar Rapids and a veteran deployed to Iraq in 2003-04 with the Iowa National Guard, will share her experiences in the military war zone, along with her new book, at Bertha Bartlett Public Library in Story City on Thursday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

The veteran Hikiji records the modern day story of love and war in her book entitled "All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq". While detailing her transportation company’s missions during its year in the desert, she also delves into a heated romance with a machine gunner in her platoon. Withholding nothing, she brings her readers inside life in a combat zone and takes them for an emotional ride.

Miyoko is also a passionate veteran’s advocate and takes special interest in supporting and mentoring veterans through the transition period after deployment. She is an expert on the issues of military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress and suicide. She began her military career in the active duty Army in 1995 as a supply clerk and armorer at military bases in Louisiana and Texas, before returning to her home state of Iowa where she attended Iowa State University. While studying journalism and mass communication and psychology she continued to serve part time with the Iowa National Guard. She was deployed to Iraq in 2003-4 and completed over 70 supply-convoy, security and raid missions while also working as the unit journalist. During her nine years of service she earned 12 military decorations. A Greenlee School of Journalism Scholarship recipient, she completed her degrees in journalism, mass communication and psychology in 2004. Miyoko’s current mission is to inform the non-uniformed public about military service, inspire veterans to work toward healing their invisible injuries through art therapy and remind her audience that everyone has a story of value to tell.

Miyoko Hikiji can also be reached at M_Hikiji@yahoo.com. Her website is www.allicouldbe.com