Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More female soldiers serve 'inside the wire'

More female soldiers serve 'inside the wire'

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Badly wounded and woozy from medication in a chopper speeding over Baghdad, Iraq, Staff Sgt. Sophia Mitchell softly sang the ''I Love You'' song she and her daughter had made up.

''They must have thought I was high on the morphine,'' Mitchell said.

In those fragile hours, clinging to life after a mortar attack, she kept thinking of her 5-year-old girl, Jurnee. Mitchell is one of 599 women wounded in the Middle East and part of the first wave of female combat amputees in U.S. history.

Most people see patriotism and the sacrifices of war as masculine values. A vast majority of the nearly 2.6 million Americans killed or wounded in major conflicts since the Revolutionary War have been men.

But in today's war, women play a larger role and even are at risk ''inside the wire'' of a secured base. Of the 4,650 U.S. troops whose deaths the Defense Department counts relating to the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, 110 were women, and 61 of them were killed in combat.



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