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Veterans respond to women in combat roles

Senior Reporter

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 00:02

Women in combat

AP Photo/South Dakota National Guar, Sgt. Andrew Turner

In this June 8, 2012 photo provided by the South Dakota National Guard, members of the South Dakota Army National Guard's 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, of Rapid City, N.D., practice tactical movement procedures at Camp Rapid.

After a ban on women being allowed to fight in combat was lifted the nation was left wondering what is next, and if the move was wise.

Veterans of the armed forces on the Sam Houston State University campus all spoke against the idea, objecting with many reasons why women should not be allowed in every area of combat for many reasons

One SHSU veteran, who chose to remain anonymous, said that the move was a bad idea and would not work out well in the future.

 “I have nothing against the idea of women in combat, it’s just the fact that women are built differently than men, which is something I believe will cause huge problems,” the veteran said. “Personal hygiene for women is different from mens’ and is not suited for open combat.”

The veteran said the problems could also be legal and safety issues.

“Sexual harassment or rape charges and even pregnancy will be issues with guys and women living in close quarters for long periods of time,” the veteran said. “And one of the biggest threats of all is having women on the mission could jeopardize her counterparts’ safety if they are more concerned with protecting the woman from harm than carrying out their duty. Finally, there’s a physical issue in that most women are not as strong as men, and therefore cannot do what is necessary on the front lines, like carrying shot comrades or dragging them to safety.”

According to an article written by Kathleen Curthoys in the Army Times, the concerns differed among sexes with women being concerned about “sexual harassment, different physical ability compared with male combat troops, and husbands in combat situations with women”. The men were more concerned with the difference in physical ability.

Brenda Alanis, a United States Marine Corps veteran and former SHSU student, also felt strongly against women fighting in active combat. She said she did not think America was ready for women to die in the same numbers as the men do.

Alanis also said that unless she needed to, she would never want to go fight on the front lines.

“I don’t know of anyone, man or woman, who would be excited to go and take a chance on dying,” Alanis said. “If it happened though, I would go out there, be one of the boys and do everything in my power to bring myself and my team back home safe.”

Ryan Leonard with the Collegiate Veteran’s Association felt that the move was a positive step, for both the army and women, and even encouraged the move to allow women to enroll in selective service.

“I don’t have a problem with women in combat as long as they meet the same physical fitness standards as males,” Leonard said. “I would also like to see women register for selective service now. Sometime in the 80’s, the Supreme Court ruled that they did not have to register because they were barred from combat roles. Since that’s no longer the case, they should also be allowed to register for selective service.”

Sam Houston ROTC was not available for comment.

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Fri Feb 8 2013 19:39
Women have already been in combat roles, for years they have been women working behind the lines as agents, spies etc. I know by first hand knowledge we weren't there to look pretty if you know what I mean. We do everything a man is expected to do and we do it very well. Women also don't dwell on difficult things we have to do and the things we see as much as men seem to, that is proven fact that women get over injuries and have very little of the psychological difficulties men seem to have. There is already a problem with rape in our military, I believe this will help do away with a lot of that with all being equal, that said there will always be ignorance and ignorant people. That being said the training must be just as ours, no difference in the courses or challenges. If the women can do it just as their male counterparts then there should be no problem. Being in operations with men and women that both know their jobs and get it done I can say there were men and women in our training that I wouldn't trust with doing my laundry and of course these men and women didn't make it for their safety and ours.
There are issues and complications that the military will have to work through but being the United States Of America, this shouldn't be a problem that can't be solved. Military women are already fighting and have been, there's no such thing as front lines in the type of wars we are involved with in these days and times.
Just remember there are agencies in this country that have already learned the advantages of having women in covert operations and the men work along side women with trust and respect.

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