Women, War and VFW

By Kurpius, Gary | VFW Magazine, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Women, War and VFW


Kurpius, Gary, VFW Magazine


Warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq has significantly altered the role played by female service members in the field, and created opportunities for VFW.

War in the 21st century has propelled many changes within the armed forces. Prominent among them is the part undertaken by women in uniform, especially soldiers on the ground. For the first time, relatively large numbers of female military personnel are being exposed to direct enemy fire.

Besides what is taking place on the battlefield, this development will have a profound impact on VA health care services. VA is already meeting the special needs of females in the military, but future demands will further accelerate changes. Please read the related articles in this month's issue to see how.

Finally, all of this cannot help but affect VFW's membership composition. Although a radical transformation is certainly not in the wings, gradual changes will be noticed in years to come. As they are now doing in the military, women will more often rise to positions of leadership within the organization.

Just look at the numbers. Some 155,000 women have served in the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters. Never has there been such a large pool of eligible female veterans from which to recruit. And many will have experienced the same psychological and physical hardships as their male counterparts with whom they served regularly.

Casualty figures are revealing in this regard. Of the 10 female deaths in Afghanistan, 30% were hostile; 9 women have been wounded there. …

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