Veterans respond to women in combat roles
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 00:02
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.