We Few.... We Proud.....
Most of you know that my cousin, Tori, has been in Iraq for over a year now. She still has another 3-4 months left in her 18 month deployment. She's a Blackhawk pilot who has spent the past 15 months running medevac missions, including one that resulted in Bronze Stars with Valor for three of her crew members. That story was picked up all over, including Blackfive. As the pilot on the ground who called in the Apache's, Tori was not one of those who received the Bronze Star, but in my mind, her actions directly resulted in the ability of the medics to escape with their patients.
Anyway.... she's back in the news again.
The Savannah Morning News wrote an excellent article about women in combat positions in the current war, with Tori starting off the story. The first part cracked me up:
"I was talking to my grandparents, trying to tell my grandmother what I was going to be doing," said the chief warrant officer with the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Aviation Brigade. "And my grandfather said, 'Don't worry, they won't put her out in combat. She'll be fine.'
"All I could think is: I'm a medevac pilot. If someone is hurt, I go to the place where they are hurt."
That's my Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Harrol she's talking about- Paw-Paw to her. He's a BIG guy. Quiet. Rough. All Southern Man.... so it made me laugh to realize that he truly believed that Tori wouldn't be in any danger in Iraq simply because she's a gurl. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Our female soldiers are in harms way day in and day out. True, we have had less women than men killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are more men in the military in general, and women do not hold positions in the infantry or other traditional front-line battle positions, but they are out there. We have women MP's and women on patrol, to handle the Iraqi and Afghan women. We have women in civil and public affairs, going out into the towns meeting the locals and covering events. We have women performing many jobs that put them outside the wire, every day.
And they're performing admirably.
I wonder how long it will be before men like Uncle Harrol/Paw-Paw realize that.