Women's roles first came up in this past year's election. Both candidates bragged on how they had furthered women's careers, and ultimately women's rights issues as part of their platform for votes.
Once again, women are being thrust forward, this time by the military. While there might be some women who are aching to be on the 'front lines' next to their male counterparts in an integral part of a mission, others don't quite feel the same.
Is the Pentagon’s decision to end its ban on women in combat a triumph for equality? Is this the measure of true equality?
Afterall, our female soldiers truly have been part of multiple combat tours in either or both of the two longest wars in U.S. history over the past 11 years. I feel while more jobs might be open to women, why not give women credit for what they have done, and for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice?
Just in the past two years, three local soldiers were killed in action while performing their jobs in combat.
First Lt. Ashley White
In Oct. 2011, a Raeford resident, First Lt. Ashley White was a member of the Cultural Support Team soldiers, an elite team of female soldiers who worked alongside Special Operations forces was killed in action.
White was killed alongside two men from the 75th Ranger Regiment, when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
A Cultural Support Team is an all-volunteer force formed in late 2010 that is trained at Fort Bragg. These female soldiers serve on the teams assisting Army Special Operations combat forces by engaging the women in areas where such contact is considered to be culturally inappropriate for male soldiers.
Spc. Krystal M. Fitts
In July 2012 Spc. Krystal M. Fitts, 26, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered from indirect fire.
Fitts was a member of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Her company commander, Capt. Sam Perlik, applauded Fitts for taking on duties above-and-beyond those required.
Sgt. Donna Johnson
In Oct. 2012 Sgt. Donna Johnson, of Raeford, died Oct.1, in Khost, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while she and two other soldiers were on dismounted patrol. The soldiers were assigned to the 514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command, Winterville, N.C.