My vocabulary does not permit the proper use of words to describe those responsible for a decision that there is no reason women cannot be assigned to combat roles in the army.
I am fully aware of the fact that many women can excel over men and that a few could probably do a commendable job in combat situations. But the decision is not made for such individuals, but as I understand could apply to most any women under certain conditions.
During World War II, after serving two years as a lieutenant in the AntiAircraft, I volunteered for the infantry shortly after D-Day, and after training at Fort Benning, Ga. and Fort Leonard, Missouri, was sent to France with a combat infantry division.
I was a rifle platoon leader and was shot in the stomach near Saarbrucken on Feb. 21, 1945. The difference between my being here today and expiring on the battlefield that day can be measured in minutes.
The purpose of this letter is not to talk about my Purple Heart, but simply state that the people involved in the decision that women can be assigned to combat roles were obviously never rifle platoon leaders.
I could write a lot about not having a bath or my clothes off for 45 days, sleeping in the snow at temperatures below 10 degrees, watching others die from shock as there was no way to transport them to an aid station, and much more.
The kindest words I can use for those making such a decision would be: 1. nature shorted them on brains; 2. they don't like women; 3. they have never experienced what is like to be a front line infantry soldier leading a rifle platoon.
Lawrence A. DuBose
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