Women in Combat: A Mother’s View

Sgt. Devin Snyder was one of four soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in June 2011. The 20-year-old military policewoman from Cohocton, NY, was one of 152 women that have died while in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. They may not have had combat roles, but a majority of them were casualties of hostile situations in combat zones.

As Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles, Sgt. Snyder’s mother, Dineen Snyder, said her daughter would be glad.

“That was one of the things that really upset her,” Snyder said. “That women couldn’t pick up a weapon and go out there and be infantry or artillery. That bothered her a great deal.”

Women make up about 15 percent of the armed services. The Defense Department says more than 280,000 women have deployed in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.

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