Monday, January 28, 2013

Women In Combat; New Vets Experiencing Gulf War Illness; Police Line Of Duty Deaths

"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's Decision Largely Reconizes Existing Reality," Ralph Peters on women in combat. Peters is a retired enlisted man and officer. Now a journalist.

Women In Combat

The debate regarding women in combat will continue for some time. Full disclosure: I was in the Air Force. I know little about the infantry. I'll leave the reconciliation of this debate to those who know more about infantry in combat than I do. But I'll simply leave my readers with this: Combat, in my opinion, is not about gender. It's about ability and maintaining standards.

Currently, women make up 14% of all active duty personnel and 15% of reserves according to the Department of Defense. In addition, there are approximately 1.7 million women veterans.

A recent poll conducted by SpouseBUZZ (a military blog for military spouses) asked whether women should be allowed in combat, they found the following results:

  • No, this is a political issue, not what's right for women:  32.7%
  • No, women should never be in combat: 26.2%
  • Yes, but only if they can meet the same standards as men: 20.6%
  • I don't care one way or another: 15.8%
  • Yes, it's time has come: 4.5%

New Vets Experiencing Gulf War Illness

Last week, the Federal Institute of Medicine reported that "Preliminary data suggest that (chronic multisymptom illness) is occurring in veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars..."

The study included research on traumatic brain injury, PTSD, respiratory problems and chronic pain.

Chronic multisymptom illness (formerly called Gulf War Illness) includes symptoms in at least two of six categories: fatigue, mood and cognition issues, musculoskeltal problems, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties and neurological issues that last for at least six months. It is estimated that one-third of Gulf War veterans, or 175,000 to 250,000 people, have the illness.
USA Today

Police Line of Duty Deaths

The year is barely a month old, and we've lost 5 police officers since the year began. Two police officers have been killed by gunfire and three in automobile accidents. Of the five who died, 4 have been males and one a women. Average age was 45 with an average tour of duty of 18 years.


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