Friday, June 17, 2005

First Woman Gets Silver Star Since WWII

A 23-year-old sergeant with the Kentucky National Guard on Thursday became the first female soldier to receive the Silver Star—the nation's third-highest medal for valor—since World War II.

According to military accounts of the firefight, insurgents attacked the convoy as it traveled south of Baghdad, launching their assault from trenches alongside the road using rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Hester and her unit moved through enemy fire to the trenches, attacking them with grenades before entering and clearing them.

She killed at least three insurgents with her M4 rifle, according to her award citation. In the entire battle, 26 or 27 insurgents were killed and several more were captured, according to various accounts. Several Americans were also wounded in the firefight.

Current Pentagon policy prohibits women from serving in frontline combat roles—in the infantry, armor or artillery, for example. But the nature of the war in Iraq, with no real front lines, has seen women soldiers take part in close-quarters combat more than in any previous conflict.

****Your thoughts?


Anandi said...

I think it's great that she's getting a silver star, though I disagree with this whole war in general.

I think it's ridiculous that women are officially prohibited from combat. If a woman signs up to fight, why restrict her from it? Then again, I think it's stupid that only men have to sign up with the Selective Service, too. A lot of other countries like Israel, S. Africa, etc. don't make this distinction.

I think we're still living in the dark ages when it comes to equality between men and women. I don't need men to "protect" me from having to serve my country if/when the time comes.

Just my 2 cents...

Tremenda Trigueña said...

I totally agree that we should not be barred from combat. When it comes down to it, are you not going to give a woman arms because she's "not supposed" to be fighting? Obviously she had the guts and deserves the glory. I am not anti-Bush unlike everyone else in the northwest, but I do believe it's time to wrap it up and come home. I don't believe we should just leave it without being finished...but this is a war we won't win on our own.
I read an interesting book once about women in combat and it talked about how men are threatened by women in combat because it is the last frontier of equality. Men will never be able to have children, so they will never equal us in that way, but basically it's a threat to them being able to distinguish themselves from the female gender. We don't have any official rites of passage for young men in the U.S., so the military suffices for many of them.
....I could write a whole book on that!