Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering the Women

In WWI, 359 servicewomen are known to have died - influenza, vehicle & aircraft accidents the causes.
WWII - 543 women died, again vehicle accidents. 16 Army nurses died from enemy fire.
Korean War - 17 women died, vehicle accidents.
Vietnam - 8 women died, vehicle accidents, a suicide and one hostile fire.
First Gulf Wars - 16 women died, vehicle accidents and hostile fire.

Iraq and Afghanistan
Almost 170,000 female American soldiers have served in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars since 2003. One in every 7 troop members is a woman. They are 15% of the active duty forces. More than 450 women have been wounded in Iraq to date, 71 have died.

Who are these women? Where are they from? They include Michelle Ring, who was killed on July 5, 2007 by enemy mortar fire in Baghdad. And Tracy Lynn Alger, killed in Shubayshen, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her vehicle on November 1, 2007. Megan McClung from Coupeville, Washington, killed on December 6, 2006 in Al Anbar province, Iraq and Lizbeth Robles from Puerto Rico, who died on March 1, 2005 of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. They are daughters, sisters and mothers. Women who, as The Navy Times poitns out, too often have to fight more than the enemy. The Navy Times looks at the toll of war on some of those troops here. Sadly, as NT points out, serving in a war as a woman can mean a greater risk from fellow troops than from the enemy.
Word among female troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is they are more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed by the enemy. One statistic — the 9-to-1 ratio of men to women in the military — works against women’s safety, Wells said.
This is the "The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq" Helen Benedict writes about in her new book, "The Lonely Soldier." As we remember the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform through the centuries, let us not forget that far too many of our troops continue to fight on two fronts.


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