Fighting for Women

Erin Chioffe, Contributing Writer

Since 1948, women in America have been fighting for our country, thanks to the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act that granted permanent status to women and entitled them to veteran’s benefits. So when Mary Claire Caine of Wilmington, North Carolina, an Air Force veteran, discovered a note on her car criticizing her for parking in a veterans only parking spot, she was astounded.

The note read, “Maybe you can’t read the sign you parked in front of, this space is reserved for those who fought for America… not you. Thanks, Wounded Vet.” Caine said her heart sank after reading the note, and she was determined to wait and approach the writer of the note when he or she emerged from the store she was at. Unfortunately, no one came out.

This note leaves not only Caine, but also the rest of America, wondering who this “Wounded Vet” is and why he or she would leave such a note. This person did not know her, so why was she or he so quick to assume she was not an actual veteran?

It has been quite some time since the law was passed granting women permission to serve their country, so why is it a problem now? Many would assume that the writer of the note was an older veteran because of this factor, but it could very well be a younger veteran.

What is the problem with women fighting for our country? There were some times in history when America needed all the military help it could get, and many believe it is better to have a large military as opposed to a small one. Women are just as capable of fighting for the freedom of others as men are.

So it makes us want to ask this “Wounded Vet” exactly what veterans of the U.S. military should look like. Apparently, they cannot be women, which is ridiculous considering how many women are currently in the military and how many are veterans now. Nevertheless, what other requirements are there?

The truth is that there should not be any requirements regarding what soldiers or any military personnel should look like. They can be either gender and any color, size, and shape as long as they can fight for their country. Holding standards for this kind of thing should not be allowed.

America has quite a past involving racial issues and civil rights, and although it seems like that was years ago, these rights and freedoms are still dealt with every day. It has become such a regular occurrence in our country to see women working or black people with the right to vote, both of which used to be extremely radical ideas, that we have forgotten what it is like not to have those freedoms.

Having women fight for their country may seem strange and uncustomary to some countries, but to America, it should not be—not now. While there has always been talk of equality between men and women, we do not realize the rights we have and the ones that we still need.

For example, in 2010, there was much talk concerning whether women in the army should be allowed in combat. According to the U.S. Army website, Sgt. Amanda Solitario, an Army Reserve Soldier, claimed that if women were allowed in combat, there would be a greater number of female casualties.

Whether or not that is true, many would say that if women are willing to fight, let them. What’s wrong with that? It’s their choice as a military member, and they already decided to join and offer their lives to fight for others’ freedom, so they should get to choose whether or not to fight.

This event regarding the note to Caine not only criticizes women veterans, but all veterans who served in any branch of the military. It’s understandable that this “Wounded Vet” may have some grudges and angers as he or she was fighting and obviously injured in combat. However, should this have been displayed in such a way as to hurt another?

It’s a changing world, but women are going to a part of it, and in those years, they will be in the military—if that is what they want. America is a country full of rights and freedoms, and along with freedom of speech, there is also the freedom of women fighting for their country.