So I got teary over this article about the lady Marines serving with combat units in Afghanistan. Their sacrifice requires them to take extra steps so that they avoid official combat designation. Their sacrifice requires them to do something that isn't acknowledged by their employer- something our country pretends not to practice is their daily reality. Congress and DoD's continued denial of the sacrifices these women are making as combat troops is an effort to pretend that out-moded traditional gender norms surrounding war are still in place. Pretending that these women, now full protectors of our country, are doing something less is shameful. Their sacrifice is real, and policy cannot diminish it.
I am proud of these women, and I am proud of the leaders that trust them and train them as Marines, not women, to be so close to the action. Of the official line, I think the sentence that concludes the article is especially poignant:
"In the end, she said, “They’re going to remember what we did.”