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Valerie Fortney

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Book Description

June 14 2013
Twenty-six-year-old Captain Nichola Goddard was the sixteen Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan and earned herself a spot in the history books as the first female Canadian soldier to die in combat. Goddard, says 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 what cost.

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“This important biography introduces the remarkable young woman who was a devoted soldier, wife, daughter and friend.... Perhaps even more important, it is a fitting tribute to not only Goddard but also to Trooper Karine Blais, the second female Canadian soldier to die, and to the 150 Canadian men lost to the Afghan War as well.” (Winnepeg Free Press)

Sunray is a poignant and inspiring portrait of one woman’s life and the profound choices that set her apart.” (CTV News, Lisa LaFlamme)

“Captain Nichola Goddard’s story is written with such extraordinary detail you can feel Kandahar’s powdery dust and see the tracer fire from Taliban insurgents.” (National Post)

About the Author

Valerie Fortney is a veteran Canadian journalist with a successful career in broadcasting, magazines, and newspapers. A columnist and feature writer at the Calgary Herald, Valerie has been recognized with two National Newspaper Award nominations. She was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Union Pictures and Words prize, along with the Daniel Pearl Award for Print Journalism.

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