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BellaOnline's Veterans Editor

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Silver Star Ladies - U.S Army Soldiers

Guest Author - Jeff Valentine

Recently two female U.S. Army Soldiers, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq have earned Silver Stars for their actions during wartime. A Silver Star has not been awarded to a woman since World War II, some 60 plus years ago, and now we have two female soldiers who wear them. It should come as no surprise to anyone that women are just as capable as men when it comes to doing their duty, in combat and under fire, even if it involves pulling a trigger.

In April of 2007, Army SPC Monica Lin Brown, a combat medic, earned her Silver Star in Afghanistan, by tending to wounded soldiers in her unit under intense enemy fire after her convoy was ambushed.

After a bomb detonated within her convoy, SPC Brown ran through enemy gunfire to provide aid to her fellow soldiers. With enemy mortars falling and shrapnel from burning ammunition within the humvee "cooking-off", she covered her patients with her body as a shield in order to protect them from further harm.

Ultimately she dragged the wounded 500 meters away while exposed to direct enemy fire, in order to render aid and prepare for evacuation by helicopter.

SPC Brown would later say that she was, "in robot mode" and just doing her job. A humble statement.

Monica earned her Silver Star in Afghanistan that day nearly two years after a sister soldier won her own in Iraq.

On March 20th, 2005, Army SGT Leigh Ann Hester, a military police soldier, won her Silver Star by counterattacking an ambush sprung on the convoy she and her unit were escorting in Iraq.

According to her citation, SGT Hester "maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 rounds. She then cleared two trenches with her squad leader, where she engaged and eliminated three (bad guys) with her M4 rifle."

(It should be noted that six of her fellow soldiers in the unit also received awards for defeating the enemy ambush, which resulted in 27 enemy dead.)

Can anyone doubt the mental fortitude and physical courage it must have taken to accomplish what either of these women did? Would somebody still stand up and say that women can't function in combat after reading this? I should hope not.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Jeff Valentine. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeff Valentine. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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