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America’s Women Warriors: Female Troops Health Care
Serving in the 82nd Airborne Division from 2006-2011, I have seen my share of combat twice in Operation Iraqi Freedom. My sister now serves in the United States Navy as a Corpsman and has been to Kuwait. My fellow female comrades and I have done our part contributing to America’s call to serve and done so to the best of our abilities. However, I do feel that with better “female” made equipment and better improvements to female Healthcare, my job would have been done more easily.
In the articleArmy task force: Female troops need better health care, Gregg Zoroya of U.S. Today talks about women who serve in the Armed Forces and how they contract many urinary tract infections among other health issues while deployed overseas. He says:
“Basic improvements are needed to help women avoid higher rates of urinary tract or vaginal infections, stress-related menstrual difficulties and the chafing, bruising and bleeding caused by ill-fitting body armor designed for men, the task force’s report says.”
In my opinion, this article makes a good point about female service member issues. This is not so females can stand out but be more efficient fighters. I know over the time I served, for example, I had issues with the body armor pushing up against my chest so I had to wear a bigger size than people realized. In most instances I wore a larger size than the men. (My husband’s vest was smaller than mine)
I do know from my time serving that the U.S. Army has made strides in accommodating their female warriors. In my final year as a Soldier, I was wearing a maternity uniform designed for pregnant female Soldiers. I also witnessed, during my time, the body armor change from opening in the front (IBA) to being slipped over the head with a slit on the side for easier wear (IOTV).
Women have served in all major American wars dating back further than the Civil War in which many disguised themselves as men [think Mulan]. Therefore, improving women’s health care in the military should be a priority. As a female combat vet I would gladly offer my ideas and suggestions to help the military improve upon its equipment and health care for today’s female warriors. Fortunately, I can start by talking to my sister who works at the Walter Reed National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.