Women in the Military: The Long Road Home
Was looking around for something to write about today when I realized that one of the news clips I received this morning had a familiar name in it: my buddy Eve Chase of American Women Veterans (pictured above). Back when I lived in DC I used to see her fairly frequently, and often enjoyed a cold adult beverage with her. Anyway, the article was from the DoD and entitled Officials: Women Can Suffer Same Deployment Ills as Men.
It once was thought that servicewomen neither were exposed to the same combat situations as men nor developed the same psychological injuries. But officials now recognize otherwise.
“With the type of combat we’re in now, … it’s probably the only place where men and women really are equal,” therapist Jeanine Aversa says in “The Long Road Home,” this month’s installment of the Pentagon Channel series “Recon.”
The segment made its debuted on the Pentagon Channel yesterday and will run through February. Officials estimate that the percentage of women in the military has doubled in the past 30 years. But that increase, the “Recon” segment noted, has come with a rise in problems such as homelessness, drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder among female veterans.
I'm going to embed the video below, but I did want to shareEve's portion.
Veteran Genevieve Chase, who suffered a traumatic head injury after the vehicle she was riding in exploded, told “Recon” that in spite of the struggles women try to overcome, their patriotism remains intact.
“Even the women who are trying to get on their feet or have been struggling through military sexual trauma, substance abuse, suicide or any major issue, … when they come home, every single one of them is still proud of their service,” Chase said.
Generally speaking, I prefer Eve's positive reinforcement regarding women in combat to focusing on the problems. Not that any unique problems that women face shouldn't be addressed of course, but I like that Eve tends to battle back against the discouraging side of the equation by stressing the positive. It should go without saying that women are just as proud of their service as men, a fact well know to everyone reading this, but when Eve has to answer questions as to whether she had to carry a gun in Iraq, we clearly have a LONG way to go in educating the public on the role women are playing. It's absurd, it's insulting, and it's unfortunately all too common among folks who are largely ignorant of what deployed service-members face.