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Jun-30-2011 23:58printcomments

Women Soldiers: Battle Casualties and Death

I knew from my World War Two experience that American women were killed, most were usually nurses in hospitals being bombed with artillery. Things are different today.

American soldier from the Oregon National Guard during a Convoy flat tire change on an Afghanistan highway.
American female soldier from the Oregon National Guard during a Convoy flat tire change on an Afghanistan highway. Photo by Tim King Salem-News.com

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I'm not just writing about Army soldiers, but the Infantry; whether from the Army or Marines, do most of the fighting, killing, wounding and dying. Very few rather than these are in similar situations.

The New York Times on Wednesday 23 June 2011, published, "For soldiers Death Sees No Gender Lines". I had read about it occasionally, but this brought to the fore, that women usually not packing sub-machine guns, were now being exposed to front line fire from all sorts of weapons. The IED (Improvised Explosive Device) bombs seem most dangerous but all kinds of weaponry are killing both male and female in the military. So far, 28 women have been killed in Afghanistan. In Iraq, 111 females have been killed. Surely at least twice as many were wounded.

I knew from my World War Two experience that American women were killed, most were usually nurses in hospitals being bombed with artillery. The German Army had women medics but it also had women in anti-aircraft artillery. The Russians actually had women Infantry. Two of my Army buddies who were German prisoners were liberated by Russian Infantry consisting of 18-20 year old gals; one looking like Hedy Lamar, and fifteen-year old boys. I think all armies had women clerks, etc.

According to the NY Times article, many women who went into the service wanted to get closer to the action and joined the military police which is not usually deployed as Infantry, but do get close to the combat front lines. Women are officially banned from actual Infantry and tank units. I'll bet some are in artillery and engineers. We do know some are in combat air fighters. I guess planes are cleaner and safer than the other stuff.

I knew a few WAC's in WWII but not when I was in the front lines where we never even saw a USO gal or a Red Cross 'Doughnut Dolly'. They all were miles back at Corps or Army headquarters entertaining the hard working rear echelon SOB's while the combat Infantry, representing less than 10% of the Army, suffered 70% of the killed and wounded. We had nothing but disgust (but envy) of those rear echelon SOB's with their shiny combat boots and knife sharp pants. Why they felt superior to us short-bearded filthy faced, filthy faced, filthy clothed, hungry, usually wet Combat Infantry Dogfaces I don't know. It was little satisfaction for us to know that we were up front with our Combat Infantry Badges even though 300,000 of us were killed and about 700,000 were wounded.

Hail to the Ladies at the Front Lines

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