New Book, “Camouflaged Sisters”, Tells What It Is Like for Black Women Serving In the Military

Authors of Camouflaged Sisters Lila Holley, from left, Shirley LaTour, Luvina Sabree and Tamara Sanford are photographed at the Killeen Daily Herald Friday morning. Eric J. Shelton | Herald
Authors of Camouflaged Sisters Lila Holley, from left, Shirley LaTour, Luvina Sabree and Tamara Sanford are photographed at the Killeen Daily Herald Friday morning.
Eric J. Shelton | Herald

A group of local women have joined with others from across the country to share their stories in an upcoming book, “Camouflaged Sisters,” which releases Saturday.

Composed by 14 authors, the stories reflect a broad spectrum of experiences from current active-duty soldiers to retired veterans. Though their stories are unique, the women collaborated with a united goal — to share the perspective of the African American female service member.

“For many years our voice has been silenced, and we need to be heard. We need to be seen. We need to be known,” said one of the authors, Luvina Sabree, a Killeen resident who served four years in the Army and four years in the National Guard.

Sabree is one of six “Camouflaged Sisters” authors who currently live in the Fort Hood area.

The book originally was the vision of lead author Lila Holley, a local Army veteran of 22 years who self-published her first book, “Battle Buddy,” earlier this year.

“I wanted to get other women’s perspectives on the military experience. … I started asking my circle of sisters, and the right ones just came on board. The book, although it was written by 14 African American women and our experiences, any service member can relate (to it),” Holley said.

The book covers five different topics: leadership, balance, mentorship, faith and transitioning.

Capt. Shirley LaTour, a nurse at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center who helped write the book, joined the Army at 17 years old to escape a turbulent home life and to help fulfill her dream of going to college.

LaTour writes about the difficult years early in her military career, juggling her roles as a soldier and a single parent, as well as her long journey toward becoming a nurse. Her stories are found in the book’s section about faith.

“Although I’ve had many challenges, because I do believe in God, he’s the only reason why I’ve ever made it this far,” LaTour said.

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SOURCE: The Killeen Daily Herald
JC Jones