LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Women in combat comes with caveats

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Letter writer Shelly Burgoyne (“Some women are up to combat challenge,” Thursday) is no doubt an intelligent, courageous and excellent example of a woman who has served our country extremely well, and with honor.

She does not, however, state for how long a period she was able to observe firsthand women who were in combat day in and day out. She stated she did not witness the capture of women by an enemy or whether they were able to withstand and overcome barbarities while in captivity.

It is a matter of record that jihadists in Iraq tortured some American soldiers in the most barbaric and inhumane manner possible before sadistically killing them. It is not that difficult to imagine the ferocity that jihadists, or any foe, would use against women soldiers so ill-fated as to be captured by them. As Ms. Burgoyne notes, there surely are some women out there who could take their places in actual and prolonged combat alongside our country’s best male warriors.

If that happens, however, no matter how noble-sounding it may be to advocate further career opportunities for women through combat assignments, we must be ready to steel ourselves when the headlines are followed by detailed accounts of women soldiers who were tortured and killed after being captured.


Reston, Va.

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