The Debate Continues on Woman Serving on Front Lines - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Debate Continues on Woman Serving on Front Lines

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NBCRightNow.com - The Defense Department recently announced women will be allowed to serve in combat. Some people say it is about time women be allowed to serve in combat while others say women are not strong enough to fulfill the duty.

"If you can hold your own weight and put that hundred pound ruck on your back, you can hike up that mountain, you can stay up with the boys, then you're qualified to do that job," said U.S. Army SSgt. Brianna Carter.

Staff Sergeant Brianna Carter just returned home from serving in Afghanistan, helping thousands of soldiers with combat stress control. She has dealt with the effects of what it means to be on the front lines and thinks that lifting the ban on women in combat is long overdue.

"People shouldn't get it wrong. Women are able to go out on these convoys with these men. If something happens and me as a woman, I'm out in that convoy, I have to go out and I have to help pull security, do those patrols with these guys at the same time," she said.

Women have served on combat missions for decades but now they will be able to serve in smaller combat units such as infantry, armor, and special ops.

"I don't think it's a situation women should be placed in. It's not that I don't think they can handle it because I'm sure there are a lot but there are obviously differences between a male and a female physically," said Stephen Prince with the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition.

Prince says he also thinks women are more sensitive and is concerned that would make it mentally more difficult for them.

"Why subject them to that. An all volunteer army, you're volunteering for it but you better know what you're volunteering for because it isn't like going out and playing games," he said.

The Defense Department says they plan to open up the combat units to women in 2016 unless the military convinces the Pentagon otherwise.

In a recent poll, two out of three Americans say they support lifting the ban.

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