Kayla Williams was born on September 14, 1976 in Columbus, Oh to R. Darby Williams, an English Professor, and Norma Jane (Spirit) Williams, an artist. Her father was a "former pot smoker with anger-management problems" and her mother was a "Republican with an antiauthoritarian streak." Williams parents divorced a year or so after she was born. She was primarily raised by her mother. She got to travel around much of the US with her family and also visited France. Her mother had two cats, and her dad had a dog.
Williams was a relatively happy child until she started high school and went into the "punk" scene. She felt like an outsider being only 12 years old and the punk scene was a way of choosing to reject society instead of letting it reject her. Williams grew up without much money and she "saw the disparity between the rich and the poor." Also, she just liked the music the punk scene offered. It made her feel "cool."
Williams attended Learning Unlimited and Ecole Francaise for elementary and middle school, and then Fort Hayes for High School. Williams earned her BA in English Literature from Bowling Green State University in 1997 (cum laude) and she is just finishing her MA in International Relations at American University.
In January 2000, Kayla Williams enlisted in the Army. She was anArabic linguist/interpreter and SIGINT operations specialist. After her experience in the Army she wrote the book "Love My Rifle More Than You'' and the book is about her experiences as one of the only 15% of the military that is female in the Army during the invasion of Iraq.
Williams overall experience in Iraq was mixed. She is proud of the job that she did and she believes she did her duty with honor. She was scarred by the pain and suffering she saw but she also learned a great deal about herself and became stronger and more self-confident in many ways. She also fears that she may have become somewhat emotinally hardened and more judgmental.
Kayla Williams did not support the war in Iraq when they invaded. She says it seemed hyprocritical to say they were going to Iraq because of Weapons of Mass Destruction while ignoring North Korea's nuclear program. Williams felt that they were losing their focus on the real war on terror by invading Iraq instead of finishing the mission in Afghanistan and after going to Iraq and meeting Iraqi people, she began to wonder if they had done the right thing even if it were for the wrong reasons.
After the war, Kayla Williams wrote the book "Love My Rifle More Than You" because when she got back from Iraq, she realized that people didn't know what it meant to be a female soldier. People didn't know if females were allowed in the infantry (which is forbidden by law) or if they could even carry a gun.
Williams lives near Washington DC with her husband Brian McGough (who she met in the Army). They have a three legged German Shepherd named Kelby (which means "my dog" in Arabic). Kayla currently works at a think tank in the DC area and she doesn't have any children, yet.
Williams served five years in the military, including a year's deployment (2002/3) in SWA (Iraq & Kuwait) during the buildup to and during the invasion of Iraq. She continued to serve in Iraq until December 2003.
Kayla has been featured in numerous interviews with journalists from CNN, NPR, and others.
She now lives near Washington, D.C.
She is married to Brian McGough. They were married in August 2005. She cites her fiance's poor treatment since he took shrapnel in the head during an attack on his convoy as one reason she decided to change careers.
She is also an avid supporter of Senator Barrack Obama for President in 2008.
Kayla Williams. Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the US Army New York: Norton and Company Inc.,2005