Women Soldiers Finally Get the Attention They Deserve?

 

By Helen Benedict
Huffington Post
August 19, 2009

Nearly six and a half years into the Iraq War, women soldiers are finally getting some attention in the mainstream press.

Last Sunday and Monday, August 16 and 17, the New York Times ran two front page articles on the subject: “G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier as War Evolves,” by Lizette Alvarez, and “Living and Fighting Alongside Men, and Fitting In” by Steven Lee Myers.

In fact, women have been fighting in combat in Iraq since the very first days of the war in 2003, and doing so in unprecedented numbers. By 2006, more female troops had been wounded or killed in the Iraq War alone than in all American wars put together since World War II.

Back in November 2006, I began several years of interviewing some 40 women in the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy for my book, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. What these women told me was shocking. Not only were they breaking the Pentagon’s ban against women in ground combat by serving as gunners, engaging in firefights, raiding houses, working checkpoints and fighting alongside the infantry under the guise of “combat support,” they were being sexually persecuted and abused at terrifying rates — by their fellow soldiers.

To read Helen Benedict’s full piece at the Huffington Post, click here.

Links to the New York Times articles can be found in the News Articles section on our United States page.

Helen Benedict: Women Soldiers Finally Get the Attention They Deserve?

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