Monday March 10, 2014
Women Infantry in My FoxholePhillip Leveque Doctor of Pharmacology Salem-News.com
I would welcome anybody...
(PORTLAND, OR) - This current big furor about women in combat is about the most ridiculous stuff I have ever read. They have been in every war, every place, since time began. Likewise, they have been in every American war since 1776. In this regard I posted, on December 4, 2010, in Salem-News.com, Women Veteran Suicides: Is this SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)?
Doctor Mary Walker, in the Civil War, was the first woman to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery. This was about the first time that American women, who served as doctors and nurses, were recognized as participants, but not considered combatants. After that they continued to serve the wounded, mangled and dying soldiers. That is tough duty even for men.
In World War Two in Italy, there were only front lines, and hospitals near the front were bombed by German artillery. Four nurses received Silver Stars for protecting their patients when their own bodies. Many nurses got six or more battle stars for different battles in various theaters. Sixty nurses were killed in battle action and 200 more from accidents or illness. Collectively, they received Silver Stars, Distinguished Service Medals, many Bronze Stars for Valor, Air Medals and numerous Purple Hearts. No one can deny the nurse's valorous service. They were usually closer to the front lines of battle than most of the male military who were far back of the lines in service companies or transportation companies supplying the needs of infantry, tankers, artillery and combat engineers.
The infantry, which suffered the worst casualties, 300 thousand killed, and about 600,000 wounded, were always short of "man power". My intelligence section started out with seven privates and ended up with just three. One of my worst nights was in a forward observation foxhole, all by myself, a mile in front of the front lines. I knew I couldn't survive. Any companion, male or female, would have been wholeheartedly welcome, but I was told there were none to spare. I think the guys "back of the front" were watching USO movies or drinking coffee and donuts with 'Donut Dollies' (Red Cross girls).
It is time to admit women volunteers to the infantry, tanks, artillery and engineers. I say this as a Combat Infantryman. When I had my draft board physical, about one third flunked out. Why is a mystery. In the infantry, about one third should not have been there in the first place. That left a small number of combat soldiers not only protecting themselves, but those who shouldn't have been close to the front lines.
LET THE WOMEN VOLUNTEER. I WOULD WELCOME ANY ONE TO MY FOXHOLE IN AN ARTILLERY BARRAGE.
Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
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