Women in Combat: Its Been Happening for Decades; But Now Women Will Get Credit
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill), a disabled Iraq War veteran photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
Stephanie Stone served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, and comes from a military family. She writes from experience when she says she’s glad women now officially face enemy fire because that means women will continue to do what they have always done in the military – but now they will do it with real training, acknowledgement of their role in combat, and they will receive the proper care when they’re through.
“… For example, in the war in Iraq, women have been attached to Marine battalions and thrown into intense fighting in places like Ramadi. These young women, despite having no infantry training, have fought in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war and returned home as part of this country’s first generation of female combat veterans. … yet they don’t receive proper training to do so, and they have not received formal recognition of their battlefield experience. Back in the U.S., they will be less likely than their male counterparts to get promotions, and they will not receive the veteran benefits given to males who have seen combat.
“That’s why the news on Wednesday that the Pentagon has lifted its ban on female soldiers in combat roles made me very happy. I noticed many people posting online that this is a dubious achievement for women—that placing yourself at greater risk of being shot or blown up is hardly a step forward for women’s rights.
“But these commenters are missing the point. Women already are in combat. …”
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