Women have served in combat-related positions for many years, however, by law, not officially in infantry units. The latest wars have blurred what was once known as “the front lines.”
On New Year’s Day 2004, a 43-truck Army convoy left Camp Navistar, Kuwait, for Baghdad, Iraq, loaded with supplies for downrange bases.
Near Baghdad, on what was then called Tampa Highway, Staff Sergeant Eric DeJonge was in Truck Number 4 when it rolled over an IED, an event that would forever alter his life.
In the telling and retelling of the disaster, one thing is constant; this Staff Sergeant owes his life to the female soldiers who were deployed with him on that day’s mission; none of whom had “official” combat roles.
First, there was the female soldier who was driving the truck and helped pull Staff Sgt. DeJonge to safety. There was the female medic/nurse who administered life-saving aid while a female medevac pilot whisked him to the nearest medically equipped base.
At great risk to their own lives that day, these female warriors performed as they were trained, as professional soldiers who had a job to do; save another soldier’s life. Gender was never called into play in their roles as rescuers or warriors.
The rescued former soldier tells his story here on Facebook and had this to add:
And I picked a female soldier for my gunner atop my Humvee guntruck. She had the highest score on the .50 cal range!
Examiner’s Note: Thank you Eric (Mur) DeJonge for your service and sacrifice. Thank you for allowing me to share your story with my readers. Iraq War veterans know that Camp Navistar was shut down long before the drawdown. After far too many incidents similar to that of Staff Sgt. DeJonge, the military abandoned large truck convoys in favor of C-130 cargo planes to get supplies to bases.
The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related content from around the world that often misses mainstream media, including all troop losses.
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