Please don’t call it a cat fight.
Debate’s raging on the Army Times Facebook page about the role of women in combat, and some of the most vehement arguments against women in combat are coming from Army wives.
“We both understand and respect the women in the armed forces but he does agree that they should not be let in more combat roles,” Denise Engle, the self-described “wife of an infantryMAN,” says about about her and her husband’s views.
“He says he already has a woman to protect (me) and he feels that he will be put in even more danger than he is already bc he is the type of man who will put his life on the line for a woman. i want my husband home alive I don’t want to hear he lost his life bc a woman couldn’t handle her job.”
The fight follows a poll that shows Americans strongly support allowing women in uniform to serve in combat, despite US military rules that ban women from combat units. AFP reports 67 percent of voters favored permitting women “to serve in ground units that engage in close combat” with 29 percent opposed.
Those on our Facebook page who are against the move have a few arguments: Women are (a) distracting and (b) physically weaker than men. Chivalrous male soldiers might make tactically unsound choices to protect women and take it hard psychologically when women get hurt or die.
And then there’s the insecurity factor, fear of “parade pretties” and war zone home-wreckers.
“I say NO HELL NO!!!!!!! My husband is not even inf man and women out there will get our guys killed! Medics as well I belive women she not be any where near the men!!!! I agree more divorce will be on its way for cheating pigs!!!!!” writes Angelina Watts.
Um, okay then.
But Stacy ‘Doc’ Dickey, a line medic from Fort Hood, Tex., argues that she does her job, but fights stereotypes while she does it. Frankly, she sounds like a badass.
“I gear-up and do everything my guys do and I’m there to save their lives when something goes wrong, writes Dickey, who recently returned from overseas. “I’ve MEDEVAC’ed out my fair share of fighting men, some of them twice my size & weight. My own platoon-mates… I worry about them more than they worry about me, honestly … And I’m *FAR* from accustomed to have my experience as a combat veteran insulted. You’re very welcome for that freedom of speech you’re flexing, today.”
While nearly all of the male commenters opposed the idea of women in combat, one male soldier said he’d like to have his wife on the line with him.
“I would rather have my wife serving alongside me then some of the guys I have previously served with,” said James Lambrecht Jr. “Until she can transfer to Infantry, it won’t happen, but I wish she could.”
What do you think? Please email your response and put “women in combat” in the subject line. Include your name, rank and duty station. Please specify if you are active duty, a reservist, retired or a former soldier. Your comments could be used in an upcoming story.