The post-9/11 wars and the all volunteer military have combined to change the dynamics of military culture and war fighting in many ways, but one of the most significant of those changes has been the involvement of women in most of the frontline combat roles.
In Iraq and in Afghanistan, and because of the nature of the cultures that these wars are taking place in, the presence of women has become an integral and very important part of military operations. The Marine “Lionesses” and their equivalent in the Army have shown their value to our military’s efforts to win on the battlefield as well as to win over the hearts and minds of the local populations.
These women soldiers, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines go out with their brothers carrying the same equipment and arms, but they also provide an avenue for gaining important intelligence by being able to talk with local women, something their male counterparts cannot do because of the cultural customs in those countries.
But there are many more stories, too, about how women have been engaged on the front lines during these wars. In this video you will see and hear many of these women relating their combat experiences and how they have confronted and helped to overcome many of the doubts, concerns and prejudices of their male counterparts. They have shown themselves to be just as courageous and capable as their male peers when the inevitable “fecal matter hits the oscillating blade” on the battlefield. Indeed, many have been awarded medals for valor for their actions under fire on the battlefield.
The one thing that you will hear from these women, either directly or between the lines, is their love of country and their desire to serve, to protect and to defend the Constitution just like their male compatriots. Though women in combat is a “new” idea to most of us in our own culture, it is clear that women have gained access to serve and have proven themselves capable of doing the job in every way. Some among us may still have problems with the idea, but it is an idea that is clearly here to stay.
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These women have answered the questions and the doubts with their courage and their dedication. They want to serve just as sincerely as their male soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines. The love of country and the desire to serve is no different.
This country is made stronger by the love that is shown by our men and women in uniform. We can be proud of all of them. They are the less than 1 percent that have the courage, the desire, and the ability to take the risks, to offer the sacrifices that are necessary to defend us all.
The Veterans Site honors these women in this video and all those who serve in our Armed Forces. They are an integral and valued part of the strong wall of defense that stands between us and those who wish to do us harm.
Watch to these brave women talk about their experience in combat!
Read about the woman who earned the Medal of Honor during the Civil War next!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.