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It is the war of all wars. The battle lines have been clearly drawn and the two sides have never rested while on the battlefield. The war has been happening for a long time, but now it seems to have hit a point where the world wonders what to do now. This is due to the current changes in gender roles which are manipulating society and changing relationships. These changes are both negative and positive; many advances have been made with women finding equality with men, but have traditional values been underestimated? It is a highly controversial and complicated subject that affects virtually all members of society.

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Most of today's 1. Several aspects of women's military service have been associated with adverse psychologic and physical outcomes, and failure to assess women's veteran status, their deployment status, and military trauma history could delay identifying or treating such conditions.

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Yet few clinicians know of woman seeking casual sex battlefield military history—or of military service's impact on women's subsequent health and well being. Because an individual's military service may be best understood within the historical context in which it occurred, we provide a focused historical overview of women's military contributions and their steady integration into the Armed Forces since the War for Independence.

We then describe some of the medical and psychiatric conditions associated with military service. Women veterans for about 1 in every adult female patients in the United States, the majority of whom are seen outside the VA health care system, where their veteran status is often unrecognized or unacknowledged.

Regrettably few clinicians know of women's military history or of military service's potential impact on women's health and well being.

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Failure to assess women's veteran status, their deployment status, and military trauma history could delay identifying or treating conditions associated with military service. Conversely, routinely screening for veteran status could yield important clinical information. Physicians would therefore benefit from a better understanding of women's military contributions, as well as the historical context in which those contributions occurred. We provide a focused, brief historical overview of women's military history and describe some medical and psychiatric conditions associated with their military service.

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Women have carried arms or engaged the enemy in virtually every conflict ever fought by the United States, including and beginning with the War for Independence. Many suffered grievous, permanent injury, while others were killed outright.

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Military nurses' heroism is particularly noteworthy. For example, at considerable risk to themselves, nurses pioneered the strategy of bringing treatment to wounded soldiers on the battlefield instead of evacuating them first. Annie Etheridge, a Civil War nurse renown for this strategy, received the Kearney Cross for her bravery under fire.

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Historically, women's integration into the Armed Forces has followed a series of advances and setbacks, with advances closely tied to shortages of qualified males, usually during wartimes. For example, despite revolutionary woman seeking casual sex battlefield in nursing made by women during the Civil War, they were demobilized at the war's end, and male enlistees of uncertain qualifications d responsibility for nursing ill soldiers.

Women nurses were recruited back as civilian contractees, however, when a typhoid epidemic overwhelmed Army hospital corpsmen during the Spanish—American War. By filling clerical, radio, draftsmen, translator, and other essential positions, women released men for more dangerous overseas duties. Unlike the Yeomanettes and Marinettes, however, al Corpswomen were denied veteran status and benefits until Numerous new advances for women's military integration came just prior to WWII.

Finally, inwomen were given full opposed to auxiliary military status in the Army with establishment of the Women's Army Corps WAC. Although Congress again ordered a general demobilization of women after WWII nurses were excepted2 years later they officially deemed the WAC a permanent part of the regular and reserve Army. Furthermore, the Women's Armed Services Integration Act made women permanent members of all uniformed services' regular and reserve forces; and Executive Order eliminated racial discrimination and segregation for black servicemen and women. Restrictions on women's roles, however, still existed.

Other provisions limited the allowable of female mid-level officers and prohibited all women from attaining flag rank.

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The Act required automatic discharges for pregnant women and women with minor children. Pre racial quotas and caps, in particular, had prevented black women from reenlisting after WWII.

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Thus, when hostilities woman seeking casual sex battlefield the Korean Conflict commenced injust 22, women were in uniform. Of these, 4 officers and enlisted women were black. Disillusioned military officers placed progressively more restrictions on the s and types of jobs available to women. Where once women had served as airplane pilots and mechanics, control tower operators, truck drivers, aerial gunnery teachers, logistics chiefs, cryptographers, and intelligence officers, now they were increasingly restricted to clerical and nursing duties.

Even when manpower needs related to the Vietnam Conflict became dire, the Department of Defense so resisted expanding women's roles, they authorized the enlistment of almostmen with low aptitude scores first. When conscription ended inwomen's participation in the military increased exponentially. Inthe WAC was dissolved. Pregnancy, marriage, or dependent children were no longer grounds for military discharge.

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Bymost restrictions on women's occupations except for combat roles had been lifted. Many worked beside men, accepting equal hardships and risks. Over 33, women served in key combat support functions, driving trucks, flying planes and helicopters, running POW facilities, directing artillery, and serving in port security woman seeking casual sex battlefield construction battalions. Cornum currently commands Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the primary medical treatment center for casualties of U. Modern technology and difficulties in defining battle lines during insurgencies have increasingly blurred distinctions between combat and combat-support roles.

Consequently, most regulations restricting women from combat asments were lifted or repealed after the Gulf War. Currently, women are prohibited from serving in infantry and artillery units, submarines, some smaller Navy ships, and a few other small units embedded within larger combat brigades.

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In recognition of the increasingly blurred differences between combatant and noncombatant roles, the Army recently created a Combat Action Badge, the first nonmedical combat distinction, to honor any eligible soldier—but women especially—exposed to perilous combat conditions, infantry or no. Societal and troops' acceptance of military women has tended to parallel women's legal progress. Thus, with few exceptions, women who bore arms or engaged the enemy during early American conflicts disguised themselves as men. Mary Walker, the only female recipient of a Medal of Honor and the first female Army Surgeon, originally worked as a Civil War nurse because female physicians were not accepted.

Press conferences from the time trivialized and sexualized these servicewomen by focusing on their underwear, makeup, or dating patterns.

Women aren’t the problem. standards are.

Today, women for as many as 1 in 5 enlisted troops in some service branches. As expected of a group selected for exceptional physical ability, most women veterans report good to excellent health, even as they age. For example, in-service sexual assaults and sexual harassment have several long-term health implications and are common in all female veteran cohorts, including WWII veterans.

Exposures to combat and its horrific after-effects, prevalent among deployed nurses, are increasingly common among deployed women serving in nonmedical capacities.

Women on the battlefield

Military environmental exposures might also affect women veterans' health. For example, women exposed to oil well fire smoke during the Gulf War appear to have greater odds of asthma compared with other female Gulf War veterans, 78 and it is speculated that some as yet undefined environmental trigger may have increased some deployed Gulf War veterans' risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

In our experience, women veterans are courageous, energetic individuals who were motivated to serve by patriotism and a desire for adventure and personal growth. Most have gone on to live useful lives in the civilian world. Knowing women's veteran status, their deployment status, military occupation e. Simply asking women about their military service could trigger a discussion that might provide much needed information for women's subsequent treatment.

Demonstrating familiarity with and expressing appreciation for women's military history and experiences could promote empathy and build trust within the therapeutic relationship, and could perhaps shift any negative, service-related stereotypes or shame these women may have internalized. Women's importance in our country's defense cannot be adequately covered in these few s. In fact, woman seeking casual sex battlefield many women and their colorful stories peppering our country's history would quickly populate a hagiographic narrative.

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We encourage readers to learn more. Recognition of the health challenges of female veterans is long overdue. We encourage physicians to ask about women's military service history and to take these histories into when devising clinical plans.

Klein is a statistician in VA's Office of the Actuary. Disclaimer: The views presented in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can run into those who try to pigeonhole you into the sort of roles they think you should play as a woman woman seeking casual sex battlefield the military i.

I try not to think about it much. I do not overtly tell others that I am a veteran although I may bring up my Iraqi puppy in casual conversation. I do not talk about military and political affairs in general because it is not in my character. I have been on active duty, as a reservist, for more days than I have been on the job as a civilian. When I see the American flag my chest swells with pride. Being a vet has helped me find work quickly.

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I did not learn of VA health care until many years after active duty. I wish I had checked into it before. It has made a difference in my health. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. J Gen Intern Med. Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer. Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. All rights reserved.