Michael's Dispatches

Sisters at War

29 February 2012

This is a small tribute to our women in harm’s way.

We constantly argue about whether or not women should be allowed in combat.  Reality is that they have been in combat for longer than anyone reading this has been alive, and they were in combat before any of our great grandmothers were born.

I’ve personally seen women in infantry combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That includes British and American.  Often they are in severe firefights.  They do all sorts of jobs, such as medics, intelligence, public affairs (that’s right), “female engagement teams,” civil affairs, pilots, or sometimes they go on missions just to search women.  Bottom line is that they end up encountering a lot of bombs and firefights.

It’s saddening for this American to see women so often not appreciated for what they do.  Granted, there is not a huge number of women who do these things, but those who do have my respect and admiration.

Subsequent the recent Koran burning, most Afghans did nothing, but many lost their minds as some are inclined to do.  There was much violence.  Several dozen people have been killed so far.  On Monday, the Taliban attributed a substantial car bomb at FOB Fenty in Jalalabad to the Koran burning.  Nine were killed and about a dozen of ours were wounded.  (No US were killed in that attack to my knowledge.)

One of our wounded Soldiers was one of our Sisters at war.  Her father told me via email:

“Ok.  Just talked to her Mom. She's been evac'd to Bagram to the CSH [Combat Support Hospital].  She was in the turret of the MRAP when a black SUV came popped out of traffic and went barreling toward the gate.  Before anyone could do anything, it detonated.  She was blown backward into the rear of the turret and injured her back as well as having both eardrums blown out. Another kid, just arrived, was with her.  He took some fragments but will be OK.  Said she woke up on the ground and the gate was gone.  Apparently they secured it quickly enough that there was no further drama.

“Her Mom said she sounded as good as can be expected. She'll be there a couple of weeks then back to her unit to redeploy.”

And with that I will close with a big Thank You, and with respect and admiration for all of our warriors who serve honorably.  Today is a special thanks to women, but every day I say a “Thank You” to all of them.

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