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Women in combat face doubts over emotions, ability

January 24, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2012 file photo, female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division train on a firing range while testing new body armor in Fort Campbell, Ky., in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan. The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — During her time in Iraq, Alma Felix would see her fellow female soldiers leave the Army installations where she worked at a desk job and head into combat with their male counterparts. But many returned home feeling that few knew of their contributions.

“I guess we do disappear into the background,” the 27-year-old former Army specialist said. “You always hear we’re losing our sons out there. And although women have fallen out there, you really don’t see very much of it.”

Now, with the Pentagon ending its ban on women in combat, Felix and other female troops hope the military’s plan to open hundreds of thousands of combat jobs to them will lead society to recognize that they, too, can be courageous warriors.

“We are the support. Those are the positions we fill and that’s a big deal — we often run the show — but people don’t see that,” she said. “Maybe it will put more females forward and give people a sense there are women out there fighting for our country.

“It’s not just you’re typical poster boy, GI Joes doing it,” she said.

Thursday’s announcement promises to change the image of battlefields around the world, as debate rages on whether women can fight Login to read more

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