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Waging Peace: One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First

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Diana Oestreich, a combat medic in the Army National Guard, enlisted like both her parents before her. But when she was commanded to run over an Iraqi child to keep her convoy rolling and keep her battle buddies safe, she was confronted with a choice she never thought she'd have to make. Torn between God's call to love her enemy and her country's command to be willing to ki Diana Oestreich, a combat medic in the Army National Guard, enlisted like both her parents before her. But when she was commanded to run over an Iraqi child to keep her convoy rolling and keep her battle buddies safe, she was confronted with a choice she never thought she'd have to make. Torn between God's call to love her enemy and her country's command to be willing to kill, Diana chose to wage peace in a place of war. For the remainder of her tour of duty, Diana sought to be a peacemaker--leading to an unlikely and beautiful friendship with an Iraqi family. A beautiful and gut-wrenching memoir, Waging Peace exposes the false divide between loving our country and living out our faith's call to love our enemies--whether we perceive our enemy as the neighbor with an opposing political viewpoint, the clerk wearing a head-covering, or the refugee from a war-torn country. By showing that us-versus-them is a false choice, this book will inspire each of us to choose love over fear.


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Diana Oestreich, a combat medic in the Army National Guard, enlisted like both her parents before her. But when she was commanded to run over an Iraqi child to keep her convoy rolling and keep her battle buddies safe, she was confronted with a choice she never thought she'd have to make. Torn between God's call to love her enemy and her country's command to be willing to ki Diana Oestreich, a combat medic in the Army National Guard, enlisted like both her parents before her. But when she was commanded to run over an Iraqi child to keep her convoy rolling and keep her battle buddies safe, she was confronted with a choice she never thought she'd have to make. Torn between God's call to love her enemy and her country's command to be willing to kill, Diana chose to wage peace in a place of war. For the remainder of her tour of duty, Diana sought to be a peacemaker--leading to an unlikely and beautiful friendship with an Iraqi family. A beautiful and gut-wrenching memoir, Waging Peace exposes the false divide between loving our country and living out our faith's call to love our enemies--whether we perceive our enemy as the neighbor with an opposing political viewpoint, the clerk wearing a head-covering, or the refugee from a war-torn country. By showing that us-versus-them is a false choice, this book will inspire each of us to choose love over fear.

30 review for Waging Peace: One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    How many times do you read a book that actually shatters paradigms and shifts your whole perspective on things? I mean, for real, how often in life do you get to have that experience — a few? A half a dozen times, maybe, in a reading-life? This book is one of those. Full stop. Diana Oestreich had her perspective shifted by life’s curves and bumps. In Waging Peace she expertly, adeptly, gently, carefully and completely brings the reader along the journey with her. From the sands of the Iraq war t How many times do you read a book that actually shatters paradigms and shifts your whole perspective on things? I mean, for real, how often in life do you get to have that experience — a few? A half a dozen times, maybe, in a reading-life? This book is one of those. Full stop. Diana Oestreich had her perspective shifted by life’s curves and bumps. In Waging Peace she expertly, adeptly, gently, carefully and completely brings the reader along the journey with her. From the sands of the Iraq war to the blades of grass in her front yard, you will be present there with her and swear you stepped where she stepped. Even more, Diana seems to truly experience life - wholly - and is a trustworthy guide into the depths of her inner life and struggle. She has clearly plumbed those depths and has made her sense of it. Yet, she graciously leaves room so the reader can make their own sense of it as well. Diana Oestreich is one of those unconventional, unexpected, folks. We don’t expect combat medics to be 5ft tall women. We don’t expect a mom to be altering the character of the city she lives in. We don’t expect people on the ‘other side’ of whatever divide were concerned about to have so much in common with ourselves, to be so lovable and so worthy of our respect and value. In Waging Peace, Diana shows our expectations to be faulty, she shows we ought to expect differently. In a time such as this, this book and its message is vital. It presents a potential way in, through, and forward.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Danebarnett92

    When a friend writes a book, it’s such a unique experience. You can relive the stories you have heard and lived through their eyes, hear their laughter, and their voice in your head as you read. Diana Oestreich has written her story. From the deserts of Iraq to the woods of Northern Minnesota, she has gone from a soldier to a fierce warrior for peace. I adore her. We have flown through the night into Iraq together, our loud Midwestern laughter carrying through the plane. We have sat late at nigh When a friend writes a book, it’s such a unique experience. You can relive the stories you have heard and lived through their eyes, hear their laughter, and their voice in your head as you read. Diana Oestreich has written her story. From the deserts of Iraq to the woods of Northern Minnesota, she has gone from a soldier to a fierce warrior for peace. I adore her. We have flown through the night into Iraq together, our loud Midwestern laughter carrying through the plane. We have sat late at night talking while everyone else was inside because of the late February, Texas chill. We have spent hours on the phone talking about life and big decisions. Even if you don’t know Diana, you need this book. You need her wisdom. Five star reviews are reserved for books that change the way I read, live, and/or look at the world. This book and Diana’s life challenge me to live a life of love and sacrifice. Please read this. Support my friend and he encouraged to change the world.

  3. 5 out of 5

    amycoko

    I started this book thinking I would be able to relate to it a bit, as a veteran, but never having been deployed to a warzone, I knew it would be very different from my experiences. This author never believed her National Guard unit would get called up for active duty overseas, as I also had believed as part of the National Guard. After 9/11, everything changed. The author says, “one phone call had cut me off from the life I knew and propelled me forward into a future I didn’t want.” From that p I started this book thinking I would be able to relate to it a bit, as a veteran, but never having been deployed to a warzone, I knew it would be very different from my experiences. This author never believed her National Guard unit would get called up for active duty overseas, as I also had believed as part of the National Guard. After 9/11, everything changed. The author says, “one phone call had cut me off from the life I knew and propelled me forward into a future I didn’t want.” From that point on, I knew that every sentence, every decision could’ve been mine. I mean, not actually, because I was a cook for the Air Force and not a medic for the Army…but our lived experiences could’ve been much more similar. What choices would I have made? How would my life have changed as a result? What would I have taught my children differently had I served during wartime? These are questions I struggled with while reading the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Gustafson

    I savored every word of this book, appreciating the full journey and honesty of what Diana has shared. From the heaviness of doubting and conviction, to the reality of what it means to die to self, to pushing past fear and awkwardness, to the hope that comes with living a life committed to love - this book is a testament of honesty, courage and authentic faith.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Mettner

    Waging Peace is a must-read! I couldn't put it down! Diana's commitment to leave behind an old belief-system that says it's ok to "take a life to save a life" and bravely give her "yes" to God's nudge to pick up a new one that says all lives are worth saving and loving without limits, shows us that while this choice can be incredibly difficult and costly, it's the only one that sets us free and brings lasting peace and unity. We see in Diana’s story how she chose to take risk after risk to love Waging Peace is a must-read! I couldn't put it down! Diana's commitment to leave behind an old belief-system that says it's ok to "take a life to save a life" and bravely give her "yes" to God's nudge to pick up a new one that says all lives are worth saving and loving without limits, shows us that while this choice can be incredibly difficult and costly, it's the only one that sets us free and brings lasting peace and unity. We see in Diana’s story how she chose to take risk after risk to love first, rather than give into fear and self-protect, which led her down a path of priceless experiences and opportunities that could only have resulted from that choice — building bridges and unlikely friendships with Iraqis while deployed overseas and in her own hometown, standing in solidarity with those who have been marginalized and finding community within those circles, discovering the Preemptive Love Coalition where she gets to be an advocate for loving first on a global level, raising two boys to be peacemakers, and the list goes on. This powerful story of one courageous soldier saying "yes" to being the first to love every time, ascribing unsurpassable worth to friend and foe alike simply because they are fellow humans, has moved me and pricked at my heart for MY "yes". Her message is the fuel that is bound to start a revolution of peace our world desperately needs and longs for at its core, having the power to inspire and mobilize an army of non-violent, peace-making, enemy-loving warriors, whose collective light can overtake the darkness of violence and usher in a reconciliation between enemies like nothing we have ever before seen. If you want to be inspired to be a part of that kind of revolution, Waging Peace is your next read!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Wilson

    Don't read this book if you are happy with the status quo, if you don't yearn for more than your every day, same old life, if you think you have everything figured out down to simple binary, right vs. wrong, decisions, if you think your family and community have no growth potential. Seriously, if you are happy where you are in life right now, don't read this book because it will change how you think and feel going forward. It will change your heart, for the better! As the books description tells Don't read this book if you are happy with the status quo, if you don't yearn for more than your every day, same old life, if you think you have everything figured out down to simple binary, right vs. wrong, decisions, if you think your family and community have no growth potential. Seriously, if you are happy where you are in life right now, don't read this book because it will change how you think and feel going forward. It will change your heart, for the better! As the books description tells, Diana takes you along on her journey to Afghanistan as a medic, but the description doesn't prepare you for the experience of hearing her story. From the first chapter, Diana invites you into her heart and mind, and I felt like I was sitting across a table from her, sipping coffee, and hanging on every carefully descriptive word. (And I've done that, so I know!) She openly shares her struggles to reconcile what she's always thought, or been taught, with what her heart was telling her, with what the Divine was showing her. Not a spiritual person? Her story will still inspire you to see the world and your role in it in a new way! I think one of the most important things I took away from this book is that waging peace, making a difference, loving well isn't a formula, and this book isn't a '10 steps to...' manual, but that we all have unique experiences and roles where we are invited to show up differently, and Diana's story reminds me to watch for opportunities to not fall back on my habitual response, but to choose to show up with an open mind and open heart. I won't give away the story, you'll want to read it for yourself! Needless to say, Diana is home from Afghanistan for over a decade now, is often found at home near the tip of Lake Superior with her family, or speaking at various venues nationally, or showing up locally for the people many of us consider 'them' to our 'us.' Diana doesn't just write well, she's not just a good speaker, or a medic, or average wife and mom, I see her out in the world working for peace, showing love, showing up in our community! She's waging peace one heart at a time, and Waging Peace will help you consider what that looks like for you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Farmer

    I will admit that as a civilian whose dad was an army medic, I am still quite naive to the turmoil our neighbors go through not only during war but when they return and must assimilate into civilian life after trauma. Even though Diana Oestreich's retelling of her experiences is told in probably the gentlest of ways considering the context, I still found myself needing to take a breather once in a while. This book gives us the smallest glimpse into the realities of war and PTSD our family and ne I will admit that as a civilian whose dad was an army medic, I am still quite naive to the turmoil our neighbors go through not only during war but when they return and must assimilate into civilian life after trauma. Even though Diana Oestreich's retelling of her experiences is told in probably the gentlest of ways considering the context, I still found myself needing to take a breather once in a while. This book gives us the smallest glimpse into the realities of war and PTSD our family and neighbors have hidden from us so we don't need to know that experience. Oestreich's retelling of her experiences, from the war in Iraq to raising her children and her choices to show love and gratitude through it all is quite remarkable. During a time of heightened political tension, a pandemic ravaging our communities, racial injustice being taken to task, and still considerable unrest in the most vulnerable corners of the world, the challenge Oestreich's presents to us is to "love anyway." How we speak to our soldier-neighbors about war, how we teach our kids about war, and how we hold up our community when we seem the whole world is riddled in turmoil as seen through the eyes of a combat veteran that we should all take to heart and learn from. We are creatures made out of love and we can find our way back to that no matter our experiences. If you want to have a reconnection of feeling hope, love, understanding, and compassion when the world around us seems to be in turmoil I recommend this book to you. We can acknowledge all the pain happening in our worlds, and choose to love anyway.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    This book is a way forward. Don’t we all feel like that’s what the world needs right now? Waging Peace clears the path- it feels like so many of us long to connect and make peace with the “other” but we just don’t know how! This book drew me in quickly with Oestreich’s rich storytelling, but her humility and compassion kept me reading. With each turning page I kept thinking, “This is it! She’s teaching us how to move towards people!” We long to - but aren’t always sure how to overcome our our ow This book is a way forward. Don’t we all feel like that’s what the world needs right now? Waging Peace clears the path- it feels like so many of us long to connect and make peace with the “other” but we just don’t know how! This book drew me in quickly with Oestreich’s rich storytelling, but her humility and compassion kept me reading. With each turning page I kept thinking, “This is it! She’s teaching us how to move towards people!” We long to - but aren’t always sure how to overcome our our own awkwardness. Oestreich shares her nervousness and hesitations with the reader via her own path of moving towards people - between the war zones of Iraq to small town Minnesota and by doing so, she truly invites us in and TEACHES us how. I also loved how she gives us so many practical examples of simply how to physically show up for people. When proximity is key but modern society conditions us to avoid our actual humanity (hello, technology) Waging Peace reminds us that we need each other - now more than ever. I highly recommended this book. It’s challenging yet gracious, full of hope and future possibility, and it clears the path of (our mostly imagined) obstacles to peace instead of conflict. I’m incredibly inspired.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Wow, Waging Peace is the breath I didn't know I needed to take this year. All the questions we have about how to actually love people and love God are ones that Diana Oestreich works through over the course of this book. Not necessarily answering them all, but giving us permission to ask them in the first place. Oestreich does a beautiful job sharing her story of how she came to reconcile "supporting the troops and refusing to support the war", a complicated view in a country of extreme national Wow, Waging Peace is the breath I didn't know I needed to take this year. All the questions we have about how to actually love people and love God are ones that Diana Oestreich works through over the course of this book. Not necessarily answering them all, but giving us permission to ask them in the first place. Oestreich does a beautiful job sharing her story of how she came to reconcile "supporting the troops and refusing to support the war", a complicated view in a country of extreme nationalism. She talks about the challenges of being a female in todays world, a female soldier, a mom, a Christian. Add this book to your shelf today, it's powerful and you will be changed because of it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine Carlson

    Waging Peace is like my grown-up Neverending Story. As Diana Oestreich walked the dusty streets of Iraq, I was right there with her in my mind. As she was embraced by various people she had been told to fear, I felt their embrace. In the Neverending Story, Atreyu was like the super awesome version of Bastian, yet their hopes and dreams were the same. That's how I felt as I read Waging Peace. As a veteran, I had a whole new layer feelings to process, ones I have so often stuffed aside. But this t Waging Peace is like my grown-up Neverending Story. As Diana Oestreich walked the dusty streets of Iraq, I was right there with her in my mind. As she was embraced by various people she had been told to fear, I felt their embrace. In the Neverending Story, Atreyu was like the super awesome version of Bastian, yet their hopes and dreams were the same. That's how I felt as I read Waging Peace. As a veteran, I had a whole new layer feelings to process, ones I have so often stuffed aside. But this time I could confront them, because I wasn't alone. The author is incredibly compassionate and authentic as she shares her story of waking to truth and choosing to wage peace instead of war. And I feel that she does it in such a way that it is very approachable to people from many backgrounds, whether they are curious about an inside story of a soldier’s experience in the Iraq war, are questioning the amount of war that is used in response to disagreements, or are aid workers seeking to preemptively and actively undo violence, this book connects with the very heart and soul. Waging Peace was amazing, and I feel it ended much like the Neverending Story: that the author went on to have many more adventures, and I know I will, too. The best part of both stories is when it becomes clear at the end —like when Bastian triumphantly rides Falkor through the streets of the city— that the story and reality are one in the same. (But like, seriously with Waging Peace. It is a beautiful reality!) I wasn't ready for the book to end, but thankfully the actual acts and lifestyle of Waging Peace never will.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Nahrstadt

    As someone who has been rocked by this latest season of turmoil in our country and left wondering how to actively engage its issues, I found this book by Iraqi war veteran Diana Oestreich full of hope and simple, practical ways to do as the title suggests: wage peace. Diana left for war in 2003 as a 23-year-old combat medic with her MN National Guard unit. A third-generation member of the military, she thought she was clear-eyed about what she was going to Iraq to do. But shortly after her boots As someone who has been rocked by this latest season of turmoil in our country and left wondering how to actively engage its issues, I found this book by Iraqi war veteran Diana Oestreich full of hope and simple, practical ways to do as the title suggests: wage peace. Diana left for war in 2003 as a 23-year-old combat medic with her MN National Guard unit. A third-generation member of the military, she thought she was clear-eyed about what she was going to Iraq to do. But shortly after her boots hit the sand, everything she thought she believed about herself, her heritage, and her faith were challenged. The story's pivot point comes when Diana is invited into the home of Om Hassan during her company's assignment in Ajaiwah. Om, Diana writes, trusted her before she proved trustworthy, and her subsequent encounters with the woman and her extended family changed Diana forever. Because of Om's influence, even before she left Iraq, Diana left waging war behind and determined to practice radical, inclusive love as a way to wage peace. Diana goes on to share how she and her family have chosen to respond to the opportunities the events of the past decade to show up for those marginalized, victimized, and oppressed in her community. They have attended prayer vigils, served the homeless, stood with their Black, Indigenous, Muslim, and LGBTQ+ community members as each has experienced pain and grief. I am thankful for this memoir and the chronicling of how one person's decision can create ripple effects in their community, beginning with their own family and friends and increasing to include those with whom one might never have thought it possible to be in relationship. I highly recommend this read for anyone interested in finding what Diana calls "a third way" to live in these highly charged, turbulent times. Waging peace through everyday acts of self-sacrificial love could just change everything. And may that change begin with (and within) me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cayla Willingham

    I've wrestled a lot with the ideas of allegiance and what it looks like to be a peacemaker in a country mainly focused on power. It was so encouraging to read Diana's story and see how she has been living out these ideas and pushing back on the narrative most Americans grow up with. Her story is real and raw and inspiring, I highly recommend this book for anyone wondering how to live a life of love. I've wrestled a lot with the ideas of allegiance and what it looks like to be a peacemaker in a country mainly focused on power. It was so encouraging to read Diana's story and see how she has been living out these ideas and pushing back on the narrative most Americans grow up with. Her story is real and raw and inspiring, I highly recommend this book for anyone wondering how to live a life of love.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brandee Davis

    In a world that feels very divided, this is the book we need right now. It tells the story of how Diana walked into a war zone as a soldier for her country and walked out a peacemaker for the world. Reading her story about her time in Iraq and watching it unfold as she fiercely chose to love her enemy fills me with a renewed hope for my kid’s futures. There is so much dividing us whether it is our faith, our skin color, politics, or a host of many other factors. It is so easy to surround ourselv In a world that feels very divided, this is the book we need right now. It tells the story of how Diana walked into a war zone as a soldier for her country and walked out a peacemaker for the world. Reading her story about her time in Iraq and watching it unfold as she fiercely chose to love her enemy fills me with a renewed hope for my kid’s futures. There is so much dividing us whether it is our faith, our skin color, politics, or a host of many other factors. It is so easy to surround ourselves with those who have the same belief system as ours, which allows us to ignore the hurt and separation around us. Ms Oestreich’s book challenges us to lean in and build relationship with those we are told are our enemies. Reading the book and feeling her hope and pure joy for a future where we can get along because we all share the same small world gives me hope. This book gives tangible examples of how you can show love through your daily life by building relationships with those who are different than you. It exemplifies how similar we are to those we thought we had nothing in common with. It challenges you to cross lines and share a cup of tea.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gauge Hansch

    For my entire life I’ve been told that I love too big and too deeply for this broken world. That others do not deserve it and that I should focus my energy on those who do. But what does it mean to be deserving of love? Diana models how to love your neighbor, even when it may cost you everything you’ve been told to value. She shares her experience of stepping fully into choosing love first and foremost, before knowing anything about a person. This book bridges the divide our hearts have come to For my entire life I’ve been told that I love too big and too deeply for this broken world. That others do not deserve it and that I should focus my energy on those who do. But what does it mean to be deserving of love? Diana models how to love your neighbor, even when it may cost you everything you’ve been told to value. She shares her experience of stepping fully into choosing love first and foremost, before knowing anything about a person. This book bridges the divide our hearts have come to know as normal. The world needs Diana’s words now more than ever.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    Diana's book is just what our country needs right now. After reading her story I was grateful for her taking us to this place, peace, that took her a year in Iraq to figure out. Her words continue to resonate with me even after I put the book down. Peace is her theme and love shines throughout her book. Even though I finished the book quickly, I keep picking it up to reread different parts. Everytime I do, I take something away from it I missed the first time. This is the book that keeps on givi Diana's book is just what our country needs right now. After reading her story I was grateful for her taking us to this place, peace, that took her a year in Iraq to figure out. Her words continue to resonate with me even after I put the book down. Peace is her theme and love shines throughout her book. Even though I finished the book quickly, I keep picking it up to reread different parts. Everytime I do, I take something away from it I missed the first time. This is the book that keeps on giving which we all desperately need right now! Thank you Diana!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book! After hearing Diana’s story piece by piece over the years I’ve been following her on social media, I was so grateful to have her story all in one place. She has such a unique perspective and as someone who has been striving to understand how to reconcile a peacemaking perspective with loved ones who’ve served in the armed forces, her story was a relief. You can tell she genuinely sees people, sees their humanity, and her story shows how a concept tha I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book! After hearing Diana’s story piece by piece over the years I’ve been following her on social media, I was so grateful to have her story all in one place. She has such a unique perspective and as someone who has been striving to understand how to reconcile a peacemaking perspective with loved ones who’ve served in the armed forces, her story was a relief. You can tell she genuinely sees people, sees their humanity, and her story shows how a concept than can seem impossible can actually become possible. What a gift this book was to read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra S

    I can barely put this wonderful memoir down. It is alternately gripping and warm, funny and tense. Diana's story of God's still small voice calling her to love the unlovely, the other, the "enemy" is a beautiful and timely message for our times of division and tribalism. Read this book! Buy two copies, or five and share with your friends! We need this voice in our world! I can barely put this wonderful memoir down. It is alternately gripping and warm, funny and tense. Diana's story of God's still small voice calling her to love the unlovely, the other, the "enemy" is a beautiful and timely message for our times of division and tribalism. Read this book! Buy two copies, or five and share with your friends! We need this voice in our world!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Heyndericks

    Unexpected and brilliant! In a time when our culture would have us choose an ‘us’ or ‘them’ binary Diana Oestreich shows us there is another way. In the pages of Waging Peace she offers us the hope that we can stand with those we have been taught to view as our enemy and question the narratives that landed us in this pivotal moment. As a combat vetrain of the Iraq war Diana speaks from a perspective that needs to be heard. Diana eloquently shares her ethical dilemma, and the choices she found he Unexpected and brilliant! In a time when our culture would have us choose an ‘us’ or ‘them’ binary Diana Oestreich shows us there is another way. In the pages of Waging Peace she offers us the hope that we can stand with those we have been taught to view as our enemy and question the narratives that landed us in this pivotal moment. As a combat vetrain of the Iraq war Diana speaks from a perspective that needs to be heard. Diana eloquently shares her ethical dilemma, and the choices she found herself making between the nation she has always loved and thought she understood and upholding the humanity she believes is sacred. We are invited to discover how we can hold deep truths in an honest way and grow past the mislayed foundations of our youth. Diana shows us how, with humility and vulnerability, to love the ‘other’ even at personal cost. From her deployment and the unlikely relationships she builds along the way to her return to life along the shores of Lake Superior this author continues to offer us the opportunity to love preemptively with courage and to strive for something better! Diana’s story will leave you hungry for more and wanting to join her in Waging Peace within your own community and our unsettled and ever changing world.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Larimer

    Waging Peace is written by Diane Oestreich is a wonderful non fiction Christian book. Diana Oestreich, was a combat medic in the Army National Guard, and was stationed in Iraq. She was placed in situations to question what her values and ethics were. She was told to run over an Iraq child to keep her convoy and battle buddies safe. She did not agree with this. She crossed the boundaries and befriended and Iraq family. After she was home she continued to live ways to be peaceful in difficult situ Waging Peace is written by Diane Oestreich is a wonderful non fiction Christian book. Diana Oestreich, was a combat medic in the Army National Guard, and was stationed in Iraq. She was placed in situations to question what her values and ethics were. She was told to run over an Iraq child to keep her convoy and battle buddies safe. She did not agree with this. She crossed the boundaries and befriended and Iraq family. After she was home she continued to live ways to be peaceful in difficult situations. She attend racial marches with her children. She continued to show love and peace by going the extra mile for others. This book is well written, inspiring and needed in our day and age. I was given this book to read and review by the author. I commend her for a well written book. I hope the book is successful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Smith

    Diana's story is an amazing one of listening to God's voice and following it. This meant that even as a medic in the national guard, she needed to love her neighbor. Diana takes us into the war zone with her as she struggles, as well as her struggle back home after leaving the war changed. She shares with us how meeting the Iraqis people changed her, including one specific woman, named Om Hassan, who welcomed Diana into her home and introduced her to the whole village. Diana carries us with her Diana's story is an amazing one of listening to God's voice and following it. This meant that even as a medic in the national guard, she needed to love her neighbor. Diana takes us into the war zone with her as she struggles, as well as her struggle back home after leaving the war changed. She shares with us how meeting the Iraqis people changed her, including one specific woman, named Om Hassan, who welcomed Diana into her home and introduced her to the whole village. Diana carries us with her on her journey and offers us hope in an "us vs. them" world. She challenges us to love everyone, even those who we may think are different than us, an "other". In a currently divided world, Diana offers us a vulnerable intriguing story on how we can seek love and peace.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Waging Peace is thought-provoking, convicting, and full of HOPE! I simultaneously devoured it as fast as I could AND tried to savor every word to make it last longer! I'm already looking forward to reading it again. In a world of division and fierce loyalty to one side or the other, author Diana Oestreich dares us to believe that we can step over the boundary lines and see people for who they really are, not the labels they carry. We can begin to remove walls between us when we step forward in lo Waging Peace is thought-provoking, convicting, and full of HOPE! I simultaneously devoured it as fast as I could AND tried to savor every word to make it last longer! I'm already looking forward to reading it again. In a world of division and fierce loyalty to one side or the other, author Diana Oestreich dares us to believe that we can step over the boundary lines and see people for who they really are, not the labels they carry. We can begin to remove walls between us when we step forward in love. How incredibly refreshing to see a way forward through the polarized "us vs them" mentality. Love first. Instead of feeling paralyzed by despair about the state of the world, we are invited to join Diana in waging peace by loving first.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie Marciniak

    Diana Oestreich’s memoir of going to the Iraq War a soldier and coming home a peacemaker, Waging Peace calls to question (and answers) how we can love in a world where polarizing rhetoric and hate seem to be the loudest voices. Don’t expect a fluffy journey of “what if’s” and self righteousness. Rather, an examination of complacency, indifference, complicity, and the courage it takes to defy those realities. It doesn’t simply re-imagine a world without “us vs. them” or “othering,” but courageous Diana Oestreich’s memoir of going to the Iraq War a soldier and coming home a peacemaker, Waging Peace calls to question (and answers) how we can love in a world where polarizing rhetoric and hate seem to be the loudest voices. Don’t expect a fluffy journey of “what if’s” and self righteousness. Rather, an examination of complacency, indifference, complicity, and the courage it takes to defy those realities. It doesn’t simply re-imagine a world without “us vs. them” or “othering,” but courageously demonstrates the idea that showing up to sit down with our neighbors is how we combat indifference. Beautifully written, it is a gripping account of her journey, of which some part we all can identify with, in hopes that change becomes our journey.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Diana is a brilliant compelling storyteller who vulnerably shares her change of heart from fear to love and from waging war to waging peace. Her writing encourages the possibilities of loving others different from ourselves and our own culture to experience the richness of entering in relationships with those not like ourselves. There are many voices on the topic of love but Diana’s military experience and life thereafter give a road map for how to be a true peacemaker.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    This book is life-changing. All you who are weary of violence and us vs. them rhetoric, gather around: Diana Oestreich will show you a third way, a way of love instead of judgment, human connection instead of distrust, and courage instead of fear. Her own journey from soldier to peacemaker with Preemptive Love Coalition is nothing short of heart-stopping. I was lucky enough to hear her speak at an event several years ago, and I was over the moon when I learned that she was going to write this bo This book is life-changing. All you who are weary of violence and us vs. them rhetoric, gather around: Diana Oestreich will show you a third way, a way of love instead of judgment, human connection instead of distrust, and courage instead of fear. Her own journey from soldier to peacemaker with Preemptive Love Coalition is nothing short of heart-stopping. I was lucky enough to hear her speak at an event several years ago, and I was over the moon when I learned that she was going to write this book. It did not disappoint. One of my favorite parts of her story is the way she brought the peace she waged in Iraq home with her to her community in the US and into the raising of her two sons. Diana is my role model for bringing our children lovingly and thoughtfully into our justice work and into the understanding that we all belong to each other. This is a profound book, but also a page-turner. I stayed up too late several nights in a row reading it! I recommend it whole-heartedly and can't wait for her next book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Cheek

    Stories...they are my saving grace. Waging Peace was no exception. Diana Oestreich's experience as a solider in Iraq left me pondering some of my choices and my actions just trying to navigate my life here in a reasonably safe environment. I am not sure I could what she did. But I do know the more I read stories like hers, the braver I become and the more certain I know that Love is the only way forward! At times I was in tears and other times I was filled with unexplainable joy. I am grateful fo Stories...they are my saving grace. Waging Peace was no exception. Diana Oestreich's experience as a solider in Iraq left me pondering some of my choices and my actions just trying to navigate my life here in a reasonably safe environment. I am not sure I could what she did. But I do know the more I read stories like hers, the braver I become and the more certain I know that Love is the only way forward! At times I was in tears and other times I was filled with unexplainable joy. I am grateful for authors who are so generous with their personal stories and take you right along with them!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Hallman

    This book challenged me to think about my life as a civilian as I read Diana’s story of her own struggle with her faith and her duty as a medic/ soldier. No easy answers to the questions of what does God require of us in terrible situations. Her courage to confront the fear and discover what it means to wage peace is a challenging and comforting book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey Wilson

    This book has changed my life. I do not say that lightly. I’m not typically a reader, but I could not put this book down. The author pulled me into her story and I felt as though I became a part of it because she invites every reader into working along side her to become people who put peace and unconditional love at the forefront of our minds and to-do lists. The way the author describes her experiences made me feel like I’m living them out. As I read, I felt so many emotions, I felt so much sa This book has changed my life. I do not say that lightly. I’m not typically a reader, but I could not put this book down. The author pulled me into her story and I felt as though I became a part of it because she invites every reader into working along side her to become people who put peace and unconditional love at the forefront of our minds and to-do lists. The way the author describes her experiences made me feel like I’m living them out. As I read, I felt so many emotions, I felt so much sadness and angry at myself for spending years being passive in matters that are worthy of my utmost energy. And yet, I also felt overwhelming joy at the idea that I can be a change maker. I can raise my future children to fiercely fight for inclusion and equality as I myself fight for the same. I feel honored to have read this book and to know that so long as I have breath, it’s never too late to make a difference, I can become a person who puts love, peace, justice, equity as the key values to continue to build my life on. This book is so good. I cannot say that enough. All my friends and family will be receiving a copy for birthdays and holidays!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donna Sterner

    This book has been a heart check! Diana leads us to love through her real life wartime experience. It is a beautiful tapestry of learning that love can break down barriers of race, religion and hate. I love the intense, heart pounding experience of her first meeting with her new friend. The description of the whole experience, they way she puts it to paper feels like I’m there with her. Feeling the embrace right there with her. Waging Peach is a must read. Thank you Diana for sharing your amazing j This book has been a heart check! Diana leads us to love through her real life wartime experience. It is a beautiful tapestry of learning that love can break down barriers of race, religion and hate. I love the intense, heart pounding experience of her first meeting with her new friend. The description of the whole experience, they way she puts it to paper feels like I’m there with her. Feeling the embrace right there with her. Waging Peach is a must read. Thank you Diana for sharing your amazing journey.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sflisa

    I couldn’t help but devour this book quickly on my first reading of it—I’m definitely going to be reading it a second time. It motivates me to love more deeply and bravely. I'm moved and challenged by Diana's story and that of Om Hassan. Her family's commitment to "be the first to love, every single time" breathes life and strengthens my resolve to do the same. I feel hopeful that loving those we are tempted to see as enemies can bring flourishing to our communities. I couldn’t help but devour this book quickly on my first reading of it—I’m definitely going to be reading it a second time. It motivates me to love more deeply and bravely. I'm moved and challenged by Diana's story and that of Om Hassan. Her family's commitment to "be the first to love, every single time" breathes life and strengthens my resolve to do the same. I feel hopeful that loving those we are tempted to see as enemies can bring flourishing to our communities.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Johnson

    I cannot get enough of this book. It is deeply good and radiating with hope & kindness. Waging Peace is a must-read for all who want to keep company with a soldier & find a peacemaker who humanizes her story, alongside so many others. You will sit with her in hot desert sand. You will be served tea by Middle Eastern hospitality. You will wait with her as she advocates to save the life of a sweet Iraqi baby. You will grieve the realities of our world & light a candle with her in the darkness. You I cannot get enough of this book. It is deeply good and radiating with hope & kindness. Waging Peace is a must-read for all who want to keep company with a soldier & find a peacemaker who humanizes her story, alongside so many others. You will sit with her in hot desert sand. You will be served tea by Middle Eastern hospitality. You will wait with her as she advocates to save the life of a sweet Iraqi baby. You will grieve the realities of our world & light a candle with her in the darkness. You will find a way home inside her story. Diana Oestreich is a truth-teller, justice-seeker, & lover of humanity on all sides. There are no enemy lines when we walk with the people we were told to fear. As she says, "Love is the way forward." Her words teach us how to walk our way bravely back to each other.

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