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Native Writes: Women warriors

Posted: Saturday, Jan 26th, 2013

The most amazing thing about living in the greatest, most free nation in the world is that there’s something new to debate each day.

Today, the topic is women in combat, right after the talking heads rip Hillary Clinton’s response on Benghazi.

She did what she had to do, even as the fog of secrecy rose to cover up what really went wrong. She lost her temper and men are up in arms over it. Hillary didn’t play the role of submissive female. She was a warrior.

It seems to me, women have always played a role in men’s wars.

Even during the Revolutionary War, women were on the battlefield, not necessarily to fight, but to heal.

I believe they also fought, if necessary. It has been the same ever since.

As time has passed, women have taken more of a role in the nation’s politics and, thus, its warfare.

It wasn’t always that way.

When I was a teenager, I announced that I wanted to join the Navy.

My dad literally hit the roof. The answer was a resounding “no.” Women in the military were there to “service” the men, he declared. He was wrong, so wrong.

I married too young to the wrong guy just to flex the muscles of my independence.

I never knew any girl who enlisted. Nice girls didn’t seem to join.

Life was its own form of warfare. I got three beautiful sons and a strong will out of a bad marriage and I am grateful.

It was a long time before I met a female veteran, and when I did, I was in awe. She was nothing like the harlot my dad had described. The woman oozed competence.

Most women veterans still do. They return from their military assignments with a palpable dignity.

That’s why I am so confused by the arguments against women in combat roles. Every female veteran I have met has been through basic training, which included firearms, tactics and shooting.

They have driven tanks, guarded perimeters, flown planes and slid belly first in mud. Combat training.

In short, they have been there and done that.

Now, the Department of Defense wants to make it official.

And the mostly male opponents are in a tizzy.

They say the “sexual tension” created by fighting alongside women will dilute the men’s combat competence.

A man will naturally try to protect a woman, they warn.

This is not the 1950’s. It has been a long time since I have seen a man defend a woman’s honor. Usually, we do it ourselves. We can, you know.

As wars around the globe wind down, a woman’s role will be equal to that of her male comrades, in terms of weaponry and technology, not to mention intelligence.

This is a message to the opposition: Come to the 21st Century, please. You may like it here.

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