The Soldier Conversation is Missing the Women

There was a photo that went viral over the last few days, identified as disabled women soldiers. It turned out to be models. There was some angry “How dare this happen?” on the veteran Facebook pages.

I think the reason people got excited over it is that there is so little of anything about women veterans. The press makes women out to be victims because that sells stories, and then focuses on the men for everything else.  The official military sites don’t post many photos of women. I just went on the Army website, searched through eight pages of photos (20 each page), and there were only four of women soldiers.

It’s particularly bad because they have more pictures of Afghan women, celebrities, and even children. Yet, they default straight back to the male soldiers.

So I’m sharing one of the four pictures from the Army site.
Two women soldiers practicing hand to hand as man watches.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Wright, center, unarmed self-defense instructor, explains an unarmed self-defense technique to 1st Lt. Sovannchampa Touch, left, and 1st Lt. Erin Kan, members of the 724th Military Police Battalion. Unarmed Self Defense is required training for units preparing to conduct Detainee Operations in support of Overseas Contingency Operations. Division West, First United States Army has the responsibility for training all deploying National Guard and Reserve Units conducting Detainee Operations. U.S. Army Photo by CPT John Brimley.

My comments:  When I was in, we didn’t do anything like the this.  The closest was in basic training.  We used pugo sticks, which look like giant cotton swabs.  As a joke, the drill sergeants paired the two least likely to be soldiers (me and another woman).  We put on helmets and hit each other with pugo sticks.  Times have changed!