When I went on the cruise last yet, there was a surprising number of women veterans. It included a nurse who had retired as a colonel, and she’d served in both Vietnam and Desert Storm.
The women who came home from that war was largely force to pretend like they hadn’t been to a war and nothing had happened to them. Unfortunately, some of the worst came from the male veterans:
[Starnes] was the only female in the room and was verbally abused by male veterans. She tried to explain that in Vietnam there was no safe area, everybody who served was in combat, but they didn’t want to hear. She left feeling ashamed and never again sought help.
I remember when the Women’s Memorial was created, and when the women’s statue was added to The Wall’s site. The male veterans were terrible, protesting angrily that the women shouldn’t be honored because they didn’t do anything. Complete disconnect.
They were unable to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They were unable to see that the horrors they were living with, the women were also living with.
War is not gender neutral.