When the Soldier is a woman…

What do you think about a woman is a soldier? Does she feel happy with the life in the army? Many people believe that she can not satisfied with such a harsh life, it is true, but in reality lots of women who have served in the military are pleased with the time when they were soldiers.

Women have participated in military long time ago. They served mostly in support roles such as nurses and supply workers or even more important roles like driving tanks, flying helicopters… Living in the army is always difficult for women, they face more obstacles than men do.

Here is a letter from a woman who has been in the military:

“ Many people are curious to know how it is here for us females. Usually they ask the officers rather than the enlisted soldiers. Enlisted personnel are the backbone of the Army- we are the ones who get our hands dirty.

I am 24 years old, and I’ve been in the Army for almost two years. My biggest fear is being captured. We were told that if captured, we would be raped, tortured, and murdered. I could only say that they would have to murder me. I can’t give up my ground to anyone.

….

You do things here that you would never before dream of doing. If you’re in a convoy that will not make many stops, you learn how to urinate in a Pringles or Planters can in a moving vehicle. It’s really difficult, but you develop great balance.

Jillian Manderville” (Source: The military newspaper Stars and Stripes, Glamour magazine)

Can you image of how harsh it is- the life of the women from the letter? The condition of life, the danger of being captured… Besides that, they can be affected of chemical attacks. It is so terrible! I wonder how they could live in such condition, but you see that they were able to overcome all of those obstacles. With them it is just a small problem when participating in the army, the bigger difficulty is that they had to face with the homesickness all the time. They miss their family, their husband, and especially their children.

“I am an E-6 [Petty Officer First Class] in the Navy and the mother of two: a three-year-old boy and an eleven-month-old girl. It breaks my heart to be here, so far away from them. I put their pictures up on the wall in my room. I can barely look at them without crying, though. But I am fortunate because they are being very well cared for in the loving hands of their father.

Dawn Bell” (Source: The military newspaper Stars and Stripes, Glamour magazine)

It is also a letter from a woman in the military. It is so moving. She is a mother but she can not take care of her children, one is three-year-old and one is eleven-month-old. Surely, she suffered great misery, her children are so young to far from the loving hands of the mother. “Sometimes when I’m lying on my cot I find myself gazing up at the ceiling, and I start crying because my son is now walking and running on his own and I’m not there to see it. He’s growing up without me.”( Veronica Martin- another case) Almost women who have children at home have to keep themselves busy, they work all the time and try not to think about home. If not, they can’t stand with that feeling.

Another thing that I want to mention is the life of women when they return from military service. In peace, they also have to face with many other problems. Firstly, they have no job. They have nothing to do after the war. I my opinion, the reason is they had to quit school early to join the army though there are some women had much education to become officers. Secondly, women who have been in the military are acquainted with the function of soldiers, so it is hard for them to get back with the function of women in the family.

“Several said their families had rejected their mixed marriages and employers had been reluctant to hire them for skilled jobs. Even more galling for some women is that once they put on civilian clothes, men started expecting them to play subservient roles again.”

(By James C.McKinley from the New York Times)

Although women have to face with a lot of obstacles when joining the army, they proud of that difficult time because this is the time when they were treated equally with men. There was no difference between men and women. They do all the things that man do such as driving tanks, fighting, handling big guns….

“ I think if you talk to women in the military, we see ourselves as soldiers. We don’t really see it as man versus woman. What I’m doing is no greater or less than the man who is flying next to me or in back of me.”

(Army Major Marie T.Rossi

Aviator and soldier, daughter and wife.

Killed in the Persian Gulf.)

(Source: The military newspaper Stars and Stripes, Glamour magazine)

Sorry for having no images, I don’t know why I can’t paste any images :((
Thank you for your reading! I am very pleased to receive any comments from you and help me improve my mistakes. ^_^
Name: Ngô Ngọc Thanh
ID: BAUN09499
Email: vienkeosocola_ngonghinh@yahoo.com

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