Women in Combat, Like They Are and Have Been

by
Abby Zimet

The announcement that women will be "allowed" to serve in combat roles in "This Man's Army" et al has been largely greeted with It's-About-Time sighs from those who argue the belated news - stemming from an ACLU lawsuit - simply reflects the current reality of war, where the lines between combat and support roles bleed into each other. Opposing the move have been a few inevitable malingerers from another century, like the distressed guy who argues in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that now men will have to poop in front of women and what kind of world will that make? Most, though, say the long overdue change is just catching up with what's happening on the ground. Over 20,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, many in combat; over 800 women have been wounded; thousands have suffered from sexual assaults while serving; at least 146 have died in combat. Here they are. For the rest still there: They need to come home, too.

"The reality on the ground in a 360 battlefield is that women have been serving in combat...I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight." - Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) Illinois, injured flying helicopters in Iraq.

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