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Defending women in combat

Regarding the May 15 Editorial "Learning from Pfc. Lynch": In the world of my people, the American Indians, women have always been in the forefront of defense of family, friends, and ancestral lands. In our way of thinking - and that of other races, creeds, colors, and species as well - there is nothing more dangerous than a mother figure attempting to protect her family, friends, territory, and way of life.

In Lori Piestewa's case, she was trying to make a better life for herself and her little family by reaching out for advanced education opportunities in one of the few avenues open for people of our ethnicity and others. Now she's made a statement concerning the role of women in combat, which I support, regardless of the "weaker sex's" physical limitations.
Jess Paul Tomey
Point Pleasant, W.Va.

I am a veteran of nine years with the US Army. I did not agree with women being on combat lines when I was on active duty, and I still do not think it is right today. Women may be able to carry themselves appropriately and may be able to defend themselves, but the biggest problem is that men will place themselves in danger to protect a female soldier, airman, marine, or sailor.

I believe the trend the government and our officers will see will be toward more men getting killed if females are in the squad.
Michael Campbell
Corpus Christi, Texas

As a retired soldier with 22 years of service, I must protest strongly against the divisive and discriminatory suggestion that single parents be excluded from combat. In the now comparatively tiny military, each and every service member is vitally needed. In my last tactical tour, my unit was always seriously under strength, and was able to perform the missions tasked to it only because of the exceptional quality of the soldiers present.

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