Local News

Women Making Mark In Military

Posted January 24, 2003

— Women appear to be making their mark in the military now more than ever.

Roughly 7,000 servicewomen were involved in the Vietnam War. The number climbed to more than 40,000 during the Gulf War.

The latest round of deployments could see the largest number of women sent into action.

Military postal clerk Brooke Bray is among the many women who could be deployed. She is excited and nervous at the same time.

More women at war means greater risks. During the Gulf War, 13 women were killed and two were taken as prisoners of war.

Bray's postal company has been deployed before. Just last year, the 22-year-old Bray spent six months in Afghanistan.

"That was definitely too real," Bray said. "When I joined the military, I never expected to be where I was."

Bray and hundreds of other women are about to deploy again. This time for a possible war with Iraq.

When Bray deploys she works in the mailroom seven days a week. She remains extremely busy, every day receiving bags with more than 5,000 pieces of mail to distribute.

Women are utilized more than ever. Their jobs vary. During the Gulf War, one in five women in uniform deployed. Right now in Afghanistan, 6 percent of U.S. forces are women.

A conflict with Iraq promises to raise the bar even higher.

"It's definitely kind of scary for me," Bray said, "because of what is going on around the world.

"At the same time, I'm proud and happy to get the chance to do this."


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