Stresses of battle hit female GIs hard

March 21st, 2005  
Duty Honor Country

Topic: Stresses of battle hit female GIs hard

y Kirsten Scharnberg Tribune national correspondent

On a mission just south of Baghdad over the winter, a young soldier jumped into the gunner's turret of an armored Humvee and took control of the menacing .50-caliber machine gun. She was 19 years old, weighed barely 100 pounds and had a blond ponytail hanging out from under her Kevlar helmet.

"This is what is different about this war," Lt. Col. Richard Rael, commander of the 515th Corps Support Battalion, said of the scene at the time. "Women are fighting it. Women under my command have confirmed kills. These little wisps of things are stronger than anyone could ever imagine and taking on more than most Americans could ever know."

But today, two years after the start of an Iraq (news - web sites) war in which traditional front lines were virtually obliterated and women were tasked to fill lethal combat roles more routinely than in any conflict in U.S. history, the nation may be just beginning to see and feel the effects of such service...
March 21st, 2005  
Charge 7
The VA at White River Junction, Vermont is the finest VA there is. Not only is the national PTSD Center there but they were largely responsible for identification of Agent Orange Syndrome in the past, and today they are among the leaders in cancer research. So I would tend to believe that their findings relating to women and PTSD are right on the mark. I could easily see where killing could be the deciding factor too. For men it is difficult enough but for women it must be all the more so. We grow up playing with GI Joe and toy guns and the like, our sports are very aggressive, but women do not have that experience and as the study stated, they are much more likely to be the victim of violence rather than the perpetrator. I'm glad the Army and the VA are working so closely to find these people at risk so much sooner than in times past. And if anybody ever doubted that any good comes out of the internet, Sisters Bound by Honor could surely be pointed to as clear proof that it does.