Saturday, December 16, 2006
The new political correctness...........
Fortunately for me, and for the United States in general, there is a woman of stature, wisdom, and vision, who understands that it is not a blow for women's equality when the nation sacrfices key parts of what keeps its society together simply in the name of political correctness.
God Bless Elaine Donnelly! America needs her to keep pointing out the facts. My donation to the CMR will be in the mail soon. Till then, here is the reply that I wish I could have given:
GRIM TOLL OF MILITARY WOMEN LOST IN WAR.
Updated: December 12, 2006
Since the attack on America on September 11, 2001, a total of 69 women deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait have lost their lives in service to America.
Most Americans, and even members of the media, are not aware that 69 brave servicewomen have died in the War on Terrorism. With few exceptions, news stories about their tragic deaths usually appear only in the military press, or in small hometown newspaper stories and television accounts that rarely capture national attention.
Everyone in this war is serving "In Harm's Way," but “Direct Ground Combat,” such as the infantry, engage in deliberate offensive action against the enemy. Most of the servicewomen whose names are listed below were killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and some died in military plane crashes. Seven were mothers of children age 18 and younger. One female soldier, whose body was shattered by an explosive device she was attempting to disarm, died in the arms of her soldier husband who was stationed nearby.
Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. has cared for many female heroes who have lost legs and arms. When two women Marines and a female sailor were killed in a Fallujah truck attack in June, eleven more were sent to Brooke Medical Center in Texas, which specializes in the treatment of severe burns. Hundreds have received medals for serious injuries and for personal valor under fire.
Heartbroken family members have expressed indescribable grief and great pride in their daughters, which is universally shared by a grateful nation. It is always when soldiers die, but losses of women in this war are unprecedented in modern history. According to Army Times, 7,000 women served in Vietnam, but only 16 were killed, most of them nurses. In the first Persian Gulf War, 33,000 women were deployed, but only 6 perished due to scud missile explosions or accidents. (Nov. 24, 2003)
Some have argued that the women who have died are no different than the men. But deliberate exposure of women to combat violence in war is tantamount to acceptance of violence against women in general. As a nation we must consider the long-term implications of this cultural shift, which many see as a setback for our values and civilization.
At times in our history it has been necessary to send young men to fight in defense of America. Women have always served in the armed forces with courage and distinction, but there is no military necessity to send young women and mothers to fight in close combat areas where they do not have an equal opportunity to survive, or to help fellow soldiers survive. Concern for men who are fighting and dying in this war should not preclude discussion of problematic policies affecting our women.
Decisions by Default Disrespect Women.
As the war advances into its fourth year, it is appropriate to ask serious questions about policies that have led to this grim reality. Our female soldiers are being asked to shoulder heavier burdens and greater risk than military women have ever faced in America’s history. Recent policy changes have been implemented with deception and advanced by default, with elected representatives in Congress paying almost no attention to what has been going on.
In 1991 the military service chiefs expressed strong reservations about the consequences of repealing women’s combat exemptions. Their testimony was forgotten when the Navy’s Tailhook scandal led to sweeping changes in policy and law demanded by feminists who have not suffered the consequences themselves. Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder argued, illogically, that abuse of women in a Las Vegas hotel corridor was wrong, but combat violence at the hands of the enemy was perfectly all right.
The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) has not heard testimony about women in combat since 1991, 15 years ago. Nor did the SASC have time to hear a single word of testimony about the findings of the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Services, which recommended that most of women’s combat exemptions be retained.
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) did hear five minutes of testimony from former commissioner Elaine Donnelly about the panel’s report in 1993, but nothing more on the subject was heard until May 18, 2005, when the HASC briefly debated limited legislation regarding women in or near land combat. The last committee hearing on the subject occurred in the House in 1979, 27 years ago.
Female soldiers and the men with whom they serve have a right to expect that policies and laws will be honestly explained and faithfully enforced. But as CMR has explained in several articles posted on this website, critical policy decisions are being made by default, in violation of current Defense Department regulations and two specific laws written to ensure congressional oversight.
Neglect of this issue by President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and by members of Congress shows disrespect for our women in uniform and the importance of congressional oversight. Failure to discuss this issue could also result in successful litigation to include civilian women in Selective Service registration. It is long past time for the Bush Administration and Congress to pay women the compliment of taking this issue seriously.
The following list of the names of deployed women killed since 9/11, updated on December 12, 2006, should be viewed with sober reflection and gratitude for the courageous women who gave their lives in service to America. Unless otherwise indicated, all were soldiers in the Army:
1. Marine Sgt. Jeannette L. Williams, 25, KC-130 crash in Pakistan mountains, Jan. 9, 2002
2. AF Staff Sgt. Anissa Shero, 31, loadmaster, MC-130H, crash on takeoff of Special Operations mission, June 12, 2002
3. AF 1st Lt. Tamara Archuleta, 23, co-pilot Pave Hawk helicopter, crashed while picking up two injured Afghan children, Mar. 23, 2003
4. Sgt. Maj. Barbaralien Banks, 41, Chinook crash, Apr. 6, married, one son, 19, Apr. 6, 2005
5. Spec. Chrystal Stout, 23, Chinook crash, Apr. 6, 2005
6. 1st Lt. Laura M. Walker, 24, IED attack on Humvee, Aug. 18, 2005
7. Sgt. Wakkuna A. Jackson, 21, IED attack on convoy vehicle, Aug. 19, 2006
8. Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Merideth L. Howard, 52, suicide car bomb attack on Humvee, Sept. 8
1. Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, captured, died in captivity, Mar. 23, 2003, two children, 4 and 3, Mar. 23, 2003
2. Sgt. Melissa Valles, 26, non-combat gunshot wound to abdomen, cause unknown, July 10, 2003
3. Spc. Alyssa Renee Peterson, 27, gunshot wound to head, cause unknown, Sept. 15, 2003
4. Pfc. Analaura Esparza Gutierrez, 21, RPG attack on supply vehicle, Oct. 1, 2003
5. Spc. Tamarra J. Ramos, 24, non-combat injuries, armor medical company, Oct. 1, 2003
6. Pfc. Rachel Bosveld, 19, MP, attack on Baghdad police station, Oct. 26, 2003
7. Pfc. Karina Sotelo Lau, 20, Chinook crash, under fire, Nov. 2, 2003
8. Spc. Frances M. Vega, 20, Chinook crash, under fire, Nov. 2, 2003
9. Chief Warrant Officer Sharon T. Swartworth, 43, CWO, JAG Corps, Blackhawk downed under fire, Nov. 7, 2003
10. Sgt. Linda C. Jiminez, injuries following a fall in Baghdad, Nov. 8, 2003
11. Staff Sgt. Kimberley Voelz, 27, explosive ordnance disposal expert, bomb exploded, died in soldier husband's arms, Dec. 14, 2003
12. Capt. Kimberly Hampton, 27, helicopter pilot, downed under fire, Jan. 4, 2004
13. Sgt. Keicia M. Hines, 27, MP, struck by vehicle, Jan. 14, 2004
14. Pfc. Holly Jeanne McGeogh, 19, vehicle hit by IED, Jan. 31, 2004
15. Pfc. Nichole M. Frye, 19, Civil Affairs Reservist, vehicle hit by IED, Feb. 16, 2004
16. Capt. Gussie Jones, 41,non-combat death (surgical nurse, possible heart attack), Mar. 7, 2004
17. Spc. Tyanna Avery-Felder, 22, shrapnel wounds, Apr. 4, 2004
18. Spc. Michelle Witmer, 20, Wisconsin NG MP, killed by small arms attack (one of three sisters in the Army), Apr. 9, 2004
19. Spc. Isela Rubalcava, 25, hit by mortar round to Stryker brigade, May 8, 2004
20. Pfc. Leslie D. Jackson, 18,vehicle hit by IED, May 20, 2004
21. Pfc. Melissa J. Hobart, 22, collapsed while on guard duty, mother of 3 year-old, June 6, 2004
22. Spc. Julie R. Hickey, 20, Civil Affairs Reservist, died in Germany after complications from non-combat related illness, July 4, 2004
23. Sgt. Linda Terango-Griess, Ordnance Company Reservist, 33, vehicle hit by IED, July 11, 2004
24. Sgt. Tatjana Reed, 34, vehicle hit by IED, July 22, 2004
25. Sgt. Shawna L. Morrison, 26, IL NG, 26, hit by shrapnel when barracks mortared, Sept. 5, 2004
26. Spc. Jessica L. Cawvey, 21, vehicle hit by mortar, single mother of 6 year-old, Oct. 6, 2004
27. Sgt. Pamela Osbourne, 38, three children, ages 9 t0 19, Oct. 11, 2004
28. Sgt. Cari Anne Gasiewicz, 28, convoy vehicle hit by grenade, Dec. 4, 2004
29. Sgt. Tina S. Time, 22, vehicle accident, Dec. 13, 2004
30. Sgt. Jessica M. Housby, 23, IL NG, hit by IED near truck convoy, Feb. 9, 2005
31. Spc. Katrina L. Bell-Johnson, 32, truck overturned, cause unknown, mother of 1 year-old, Feb. 16, 2005
32. Spc. Adrianna Salem, 21, vehicle rolled over, unknown cause, Feb. 21, 2005
33. Pfc. Sam W. Huff, 18, IED attack on Humvee, April 18, 2005
34. Spc. Aleina Ramirez Gonzales, 33, Puerto Rico, April 15, mortar attack on forward operating base, Apr. 29, 2005
35. Spc. Lizbeth Robles, 31, vehicle accident, Mar. 1, 2005
36. Spc. Carrie L. French, 19, bomb hit on convoy, June 5, 2005
37. Marine Lance Cpl. Holly Charette, 21, attack on truck convoy in Fallujah, June 23, 2005
38. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Regina Clark, 43, 1 18 year-old son, Fallujah attack on truck convoy, June 23, 2005
39. Marine Cpl. Ramona Valdez, 20, Fallujah attack on truck convoy, June 23, 2005
40. Staff Sgt. Tricia L. Jameson, 34, medical specialist, Army NG, IED explosion while responding to a casualty incident, July 14, 2005
41. Pfc. LaVena L. Johnson, 19, non-combat related injuries, July 19, 2005
42. Spec. Toccara Green, 23, IED explosion, Aug. 14, 2005
43. Airman 1st Class Elizabeth N. Jacobson, 21, IED explosion, Sept. 28, 2005
44. 1st Lt. Debra A. Banaszak, 35, non-combat related injuries, Oct. 28, 2005
45. Sgt. Julia V. Atkins, 22,IED attack near Humvee, Dec. 10, 2005
46. Sgt. Regina C. Reali, 25, IED attack, Dec. 23, 2005
47. Sgt. Myla L. Maravillosa, 24, RPG attack on Humvee, Dec. 24, 2005
48. 1st Lt. Jaime L. Campbell, 25, helicopter crash, Jan. 7, 2006
49. AF Senior Airman Alecia S. Good, 28, Gulf of Aden helicopter collision, Feb. 17, 2006
50. Pvt. First Class Tina M. Priest, 20, gunshot wound to the chest, unknown cause, Mar. 1, 2006
51. Pfc. Amy Duerksen, 19, of injuries suffered in Iraq, Mar. 11, 2006
52. Spc. Amanda Pinson, 21, mortar attack while waiting for bus transport, Mar. 16, 2006
53. Marine Lance Cpl. Juana Navarro Arellano, 24, of wounds received in Iraq, April 8.
54. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime S. Jaenke, 29, Humvee struck by IED, Iraq, June 5, mother of 9 year old girl.
55. Pfc. Hannah L. Gunterman, 20, vehicle accident in Taji, Iraq, Sept. 4.
56. 2nd Lt. J. T. Perez, 23, IED explosion near Humvee in Al Kifl, Iraq, Sept. 12.
57. Sgt. Jennifer M. Hartman, 21, suicide bomber attack on West Baghdad Substation, Sept. 14.
58. 1st Lt. Ashley (Henderson) Huff, 23, suicide attack on convoy, near her Humvee, Sept. 19.
59. Sgt. Jeannette T. Dunn, 44, of non-combat related injuries, Nov. 26.
60. Maj. Megan McClung, USMC, 34, IED attack near Ramadi in the Anbar province, Iraq, Dec. 6.
1. Reserve Sgt. Denise Lannaman, 46, non-combat-related incident at Camp Arifjan, Oct. 1.