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Sun., Feb. 3, 2013

Female soldiers insulted

As a female soldier with 33 years’ service, I am deeply offended by Kathleen Parker’s remarks (“Women just aren’t built for combat,” Jan. 27). She does not understand military specialties or combat designations.

All military specialties have physical and mental requirements. Gender does not determine ability to meet standards.

We do not love daughters more than sons. How ridiculous to say it’s more tolerable to have a son captured or tortured than a daughter. Loss of “civility”? The only civility in combat is equal value and respect for abilities.

Soldiers without combat assignments are at a disadvantage for promotions and leadership positions. It’s time to quit reinforcing the glass ceiling for women. Few jobs in combat units require hand-to-hand combat as she implies (clerks, e.g.) but all soldiers are trained for combat.

The greatest insult? Referring to female soldiers as “girls.” They are women in uniform properly and respectfully called “soldiers.”

Women have been in combat in every U.S. war/conflict. Opportunities to show patriotism, gain education and training, qualify for a career of choice and reap veteran’s benefits should be based on abilities, not gender.

Parker should apologize to all soldiers who have fought for justice and equality.

Vaughn Blethen

Master Sgt., retired

Moses Lake

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