The women in my unit were particularly in the spotlight because we were part of a transportation company. We hit the sands and were on the road right away, a very visible aspect of how different the two cultures were. It was illegal for Saudi women to drive. As the build-up started, we were on 50 truck convoys heading out to deliver ammunition. Because of the shifting geology of the land, we didn’t even have good maps to guide us (no GPS then!).
It was those convoys I thought of when I watched the film Saving Jessica Lynch. That was a really bad made for television movie that was rushed into production after her rescue (I’m not commenting on the accuracy of the film itself). But there’s a scene in the movie when Private Lynch’s convoy gets lost. The convoy commander stubbornly goes on, even though he doesn’t know where he’s going and ends up in the town where they are attacked and Lynch’s life is changed forever.
I watched that scene and practically had a meltdown. In that instant, I could easily see how one of our convoy commanders could have gotten us lost and done exactly the same thing.
That attack could have happened to us.
It could have happened to me.
We were all part of the same club: Female soldiers.
For more on my Persian Gulf War experiences: