Daughter of the Heartland: My Ode to the Country That Raised Me

May 1, 2021

As the month of May opens, we find many young women in our circle graduating, moving for internships, or starting a summer job.  These days are often full of new challenges and experiences. It can be hard to find your footing in these new life roles.  To help engage and encourage during this process, we have chosen Senator Joni Ernst’s book, Daughter of the Heartland: My Ode to the Country That Raised Me, as our May book club choice.  Senator Ernst is a mother, soldier, and a leader. She was the first woman elected to represent Iowa at the federal level, and the first female combat veteran to become a Senator. She served her country both in the Army Reserves and Iowa National Guard for over 23 years, including leading a unit in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom that drove convoys through Kuwait and Southern Iraq. Senator Ernst retired in 2015 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa National Guard, having served in every leadership position from platoon leader to battalion commander. Upon returning home, she was elected as Montgomery County Auditor and to a role in the Iowa State Senate where she helped pass the largest tax cut in Iowa history. 

About the book…

In this book, Senator Ernst shares her inspirational life story. This is a wonderful story of determination and overcoming unexpected life challenges.  Senator Ernst does not shirk from addressing the painful events of her personal life and the subsequent media intrusion.  You will be challenged to overcome your personal battles, as she tells her story of domestic violence. She did not let heartbreaking events destroy her core beliefs and her life goals.  With strength of character, Senator Ernst became a Battalion Commander in the Iowa National Guard.  She discusses deployment and service as a woman and how that shaped her career and future. The Senator focuses on five concepts that have defined and shaped her life: home, service, commitment, leadership, and grit. You will find this to be an inspiring American story of hope and resilience by one of America’s great conservative leaders.

In this book, you will find:

  1. Courage to continue YOUR conservative story
  2. Inspiring stories of leadership and persistence
  3. An excellent example of how to maintain your values in the spotlight
  4. Love of country

We encourage everyone to join us this May as we read and learn from Senator Joni Ernst.  This book would be an excellent gift to a graduating senior, someone just starting out in life or college. We all need inspiration from time to time, so we encourage our supporters to read this book as well.  We can all learn lessons from the farm girl, turned military commander, turned United States Senator.  There is a refreshing honesty in Daughter of the Heartland that will give you hope for America’s future during a time where the outlook is bleak. This book delivers an excellent example of strength and grace – just what America needs to hear.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. How did her response to life’s struggles inspire you?
  2. What is your perspective of women in the military?
  3. Were you surprised by the sexist ad liberals used against Senator Ernst?
  4. What will you do in 2021 that prepares you for a leadership role?