Served Like a Girl

Served Like a Girl

  • BY Lysa Heslov | IN Women & Girls
    Premiered May 28, 2018

About the Film

Served Like a Girl is a powerful and poignant look at a group of diverse female veterans as they transition from active duty to civilian life after serving tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Struggling with PTSD, homelessness, broken families, serious illness, physical injuries, and military sexual abuse, these inspiring women find ways to adapt to the challenges they face through participation in the “Ms. Veteran America” competition. MORE

Ms. Veteran America was established in 2012 to encourage women veterans to recognize and support their sisters as they return to civilian life. More than a vehicle for shared recovery, the competition’s main mission is to raise funds and awareness for America’s 55,000 homeless women veterans, a goal that resonates strongly with the women profiled in the film.

Guided by event founder and veteran Major Jas Boothe, the women featured in the film work hard to prepare for the competition, and, in the process, recover parts of their identities they'd lost on the battlefield. Ultimately, this band of sisters prove that battle scars can’t camouflage grace, poise, and beauty.

The Filmmakers

Lysa Heslov (Director/Producer), along with her husband, Academy Award-winning producer/writer/director Grant Heslov, founded Children Mending Hearts eight years ago, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged youth in the U.S. through educational and humanities programs that build empathy and global citizenry.  Served Like a Girl, her directorial debut, premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival and won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Bentonville Film Festival in May 2017. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Heslov has produced such indie favorites as Black Circle Boys, Attention Shoppers, Bug, Mailman, and Hank Azaria’s Nobody’s Perfect.  Black Circle Boys, Mailman and Nobody’s Perfect all premiered at Sundance. Nobody’s Perfect was awarded best short at the HBO Comedy Film Festival. Bug was awarded Best Feature Film by the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Seth Gordon (Producer) 
started in documentary film directing the feature The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Chronicling the intense rivalry between two Donkey Kong aficionados, the film won Best Documentary awards at a number of festivals. In 2012, Gordon produced Undefeated, which took home the 2012 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. He also produced the critically-acclaimed documentaries New York Doll (2005), Mitt (2014), Print the Legend (2014), Finders Keepers (2015), and Gleason (2016). Gordon has directed three studio feature films, each of which grossed over $100 million domestically: Four Christmases (2008), Horrible Bosses (2011), and Identity Thief (2013). All of the five pilots Gordon directed for Sony Television, including The Goldbergs, have gone to air. Last year, he directed and produced the pilot Sneaky Pete for Sony Television; it was written and produced by David Shore and Bryan Cranston and premiered on Amazon.

Linda Perry (Producer) 
is a Grammy® Award-winning singer-songwriter and record producer. She started her career as the lead singer and songwriter of 4 Non Blondes. Since then she founded two record labels and composed and produced hit songs for several other artists, as well as contributing to albums by Adele, Alicia Keys, James Blunt, Gwen Stefani and more. Some of the hit songs she’s written include Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” Pink’s “Get the Party Started” and Faith Hill’s “Cry.” Linda co-wrote the end song for Served Like a Girl, “Dancing Through the Wreckage.” LESS

Film Credits

Lysa Heslov

Lysa Heslov
Seth Gordon
Linda Perry

Executive Producers
Byron Allen
Carolyn Folks
Jennifer Lucas
Chris Charalambous
Terence Hill
Rachel Koehler

Executive Producers
Jason Delane Lee
Yvonne Huff Lee
Kym Gold
Marlon Young
Jason Kliot

Jill Delaney
Chay Carter

Director of Photography
Rita Baghdadi

Written by
Lysa Heslov
Tchavdar Georgiev

Tchavdar Georgiev, ACE
Bridget Arnet
Monique Zavistovski

Music by
Michael A. Levine

Additional Score by
Linda Perry

Sergeant Nichole Alred
Major Jas Boothe
Lieutenant Commander Rachel Engler
Master At Arms First Class Hope Garcia
Master Sergeant Denyse Gordon
Specialist Marissa Strock
Sergeant Andrea Waterbury

Music Supervisor
Maureen Crowe, GMS

Consulting Editor
Doug Blush, ACE

Additional Editing
Kelley Dixon

Assistant Editors
Ludmil Kazakov
Hee-Jae Park

Music Editor
Bijan Olia

Additional Photography
Jeremiah Hammerling
Jonathan Amayo
Peter Nicoll
Carmen Delaney
Martin Rogers
Joshua Greenrock
Bridget Arnet
Michael Su

Las Vegas Jib Operator
Bruce Helmprobst

Las Vegas Audio
TJ Hess
Scott Wildfong

Production Assistants
Alberto Gonzalez
Monica Morgan

Sound Designer and Re-recording Mixer
Adam Parrish King

Randy Coonfield

Online Editor
David Berlinsky

Still Photography
Adam Sternberg

Assistant to Lysa Heslov
Loria Roberson

Clearance Counsel
Chris L. Perez, Esq.
Kathryn R. Alimohammadi, Esq.

Distribution Advisory Services
Preferred Content

Original Song
“Dancing Through The Wreckage”
Written by Linda Perry, Neil Giraldo, and Patricia Giraldo
Performed by Pat Benatar
Courtesy of WE ARE HEAR

“Superstars Come In Many Colors”
Written by Rebekkah Friesen & Fumitake Igarashi
Courtesy of APM Music

Written and performed by Ed Littman
Courtesy of Love Cat Music

"After Midnight"
Written by Dorothy Martin, Mark Jackson, Ian Scott and George Robertson
Performed by Dorothy
Courtesy of Roc Nation/Caroline under license from Universal Music Enterprises

Written by Nicki Minaj, RedOne, Carl Falk,
Rami Yacoub & Wayne Hector
Performed by Nicki Minaj
Courtesy of Cash Money Records/Universal Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

“When Caissons Go Rolling Along”
Written by Will Schaefer
Courtesy of APM Music

“G.I. Joe Theme Song”
Courtesy of HASBRO

“Thieving Magpie”
Written by Gioachino Rossini
Courtesy of Forman Bros. Recordings

“Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That”
Performed by Robert Randolph & The Family
Written by Andrew Ramsey, Robert Randolph, Shannon Sanders
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing

“Good As Hell”
Written by Eric Frederic and Melissa Jefferson
Performed by Lizzo
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing

“Bang a Gong (Get It On)”
Written by Marc Feld
Performed by T Rex
Courtesy of TRO ESSEX Music Group

Written by Colin Charles Greenwood, Jonathan Richard Greenwood, Albert Louis Hammond, Michael Edward Hazlewood, Edward John O’Brien, Philip James Selway, Thomas Edward Yorke
Performed by Sydney Spencer

"Wicked Ones"
Written by Mark Jackson, Dorothy Martin, Brendon Scott
Performed by Dorothy
Courtesy of Roc Nation/Caroline under license from Universal Music Enterprises

Written by Thomas Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Ben Kohn, Maegan Cottone, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall
Performed by Little Mix
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd. & Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

written by Jordan Pruitt
performed by Maya Heslov

Archival Material Provided by
American Veteran Honors / American Veteran Center
Attacking George / Joseph R Kasulis & George The Rooster from Hudson Valley NY
“D-Day Doll”, “Do It”, “Lucky Lady”, “Bunny”, “Miss Liberty Bell”, “Witch II”, “Blonde Pin Up” courtesy of Tim Hunter Photography

Footage by Branislavpudar, Rick Ray, Live Fire Inc., and AV Geeks used under license of Shutterstock
“Murder on Marathon Drive”/ Channel 9- WTVM

Additional Materials
“Natural Born Killers - Battle Ready” / Conde Naste / Danielle Levitt
Anton Komogortsev / “Military Women”
Edward F. Villa / “The Women of the Israel Defense Forces”
Toyota USA / “Toyota Standing O-Vation Honoring Final Salute”
CNN / “CNN Hero: Jaspen Boothe”
“The Reel” / Katie McMahon/ Credo Records
“Shut Up and Dance” / Ben Berger and Ryan McMahon/ RCA
NFL / “Chris Paul's Remix's: First Ladies of Football", "First Ladies of Football Warming Up vs. Eagles", John Frazer / "Redskin Cheerleaders 2 (First Ladies of Football)", "Washington Redskins Cheerleaders 2006 Sexy Swimsuit Calendar Video"
Hasbro / “Jem and the Holograms” and “GI Joe: A Real American Hero”
The Salvation Army Southern Territory / "Salvation in the Storm: Remembering Hurricane Katrina"
“Shatter Me” / Dia Frampton, Lindsey Stirling, and Silas / Lindseystomp Music
Fox News / "July 16, 2012 - We are not all created Equal - Fox & Friends”
CNN / “The Arizona Republican Presidential Debate”
The Young Turks / “Ana’s Challenge - Women Can Lift Men in Combat”
“Uptown Funk” / Mark Ronson / Columbia Records

Special Thanks
Adventure Combat Ops
Beauty Bar
Cerritos College
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Franklin County Coroner’s Office
Ft. Snelling Army Reserves
Haller Funeral Home
Hooters Hotel and Casino
Michael Panfeld
Michelle Jonas
Nadine Schiff & Fred Rosen
Peter Dudgeon
WRBL Columbus
Yellowbird Studios

Funding Provided By
Chicago Media Project
Kari and Todd Wagner
Paul and Melissa Placek
Bruce and Judy Stern
Wendy Doyle
Lyn and Norman Lear
Suzanne Lerner
Brenda Robinson
Steve Traxler

Served Like a Girl is a production of Drop and Give Me Twenty, LLC, in association with the Lagralane Group and Community Films.

This program was produced by Drop and Give Me Twenty, LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.

© Drop and Give Me Twenty, LLC, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Shout out the women warriors/female veterans in your life. What challenges have they faced? Can you be a soldier and still feminine? Would a competition like Ms. Veteran America appeal to the woman soldiers you know?


  • SXSW Film Festival
    Grand Jury Award (Nominee)
  • SXSW Film Festival
    Chicken & Egg Award (Nominee)
  • Bentonville Film Festival
    Best Jury Documentary
Please review our comment guidelines.
Shout out the women warriors/female veterans in your life. What challenges have they faced? Can you be a soldier and still feminine? Would a competition like Ms. Veteran America appeal to the woman soldiers you know?