U.S. military leaders on Thursday formally lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions.
I shook my head at it all. Really, it took this long?
What’s been the perception of women in combat all these years?
OK. So, technically, women haven’t been allowed on the front lines of fighting for our country, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve been safe and protected during battle. Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, women have been holding valuable positions in the armed forces.
Back to me, shaking my head. Has it really taken 65 years to “allow” women to serve in a full combat role?
Why did we hold back?
Some people say that women shouldn’t be on the front lines because they are mothers and have families to return to.
What about fathers? My husband is just as valued as I am. Our family would not be complete without EITHER of us
Some people say that women don’t have the strength to face the world of true combat.
But during major wars, many female nurses were the ones who stitched and nursed people back together. I can’t imagine the horrible things they saw behind the front lines. Ask those women about their strength and focus — obviously, two things needed on the front lines.
The irony about the ban is that women have been on the combat front lines for years.
In many news reports after the ban was lifted, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was quoted saying women have become an “integral part” of the military and have already demonstrated their willingness to fight during the wars of the last decade.
According to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, who was recently interviewed by NPR about this issue, “Thousands of women in the military have already found themselves in combat situations. Recent wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan have lacked a real front line, and women serving there have come under fire and had to fight back alongside male counterparts.”
What will it take for the world to realize that men and women can work together to strengthen our country?
There is no need to be condescending and tell women that we can be in the military and not fight.
Women ARE fighting, and whether we win or not, at least we can now say we fought together for a country that finally appreciated ALL of its military.
Danielle Herzog is married and a mother to two children. Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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