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Date with History

Lita & Jean: Two Generations of Military Women

Le Jardin
Thursday, November 2, 7 pm

Free Event, No Parking Fee

Lita and Jean, a mother and daughter duo, will discuss their award-winning, tell-all book, Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women.

From painful high school haircut memories to rescuing their fellow soldiers from a flipped vehicle, there’s romance, reality, and action to be covered. 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.

Their fight for themselves, each other, and the world around them is a painful yet riveting account of family, service, and love.

Hear the pair speak with unflinching candor about their darkest moments and the secrets of family, the Catholic Church, military, and disability. Their resilience and resolve will inspire all who hear their heartfelt stories.

In-Person Registration

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About the speakers:

Jean Marie McNamara is the co-author of Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women. Like her mother, she has a passion to help others. Jean began as an E1 in the U.S. Army, serving 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, she 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, Jean 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.

Lita Tomas is the co-author of Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women. 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.

About Date with History

Our Date with History series, now in its 16th year, features presentations by authors, historians, documentarians, and veterans on a variety of military history topics. Visit Cantigny or attend online to connect with these experts in a lecture and Q&A format.