Women Have Been in Combat Since 1779

Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon was the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and his former wife, Brenda Gordon. Photo courtesy of the Gordon family.

Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon was the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and his former wife, Brenda Gordon. Photo courtesy of the Gordon family.

If you’re not an NPR listener, you missed a piece on women in combat Monday morning. It’s part of a series this week. The story began with an interesting historical perspective:

America has been debating the role of women in combat since 1779.

That’s when the Continental Congress first awarded a military disability pension to Mary Corbin after she manned a cannon in the Revolutionary War at the battle of Fort Washington in New York. Corbin got only half the pension male soldiers received, but she asked for — and received — the full ration of rum.

And women have been “manning” the weapons and caring for the wounded ever since, yet they are not fully recognized for what they’ve achieved in a realm dominated by men.

“Are women in combat?” asks Sgt. Jessica Keown rhetorically to NPR reporters and . “Hell, yes.”

You can listen to Sgt. Keown and other women from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars HERE.

The second half the the story is of particular interest to those living on the west coast of Florida. Lawrence talks to the father of  Spc. Brittany Gordon who was killed in October 2012 while on a mission to meet with Afghan intelligence north of Kandahar.

Brittany was the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon. She grew up in St. Petersburg and her friends have paid tribute to Brittany by collecting donations for soldiers and sending boxes of goodies to those serving in Afghanistan.

“I wonder sometimes if that’s the depth of my grief, because I always felt like I should be there to protect her, you know, as a father,” said Gordon, whose daughter was killed in Afghanistan where she was serving with the Army.

Just wondering if a mother of a soldier doesn’t feel the same thing about her son serving in combat.

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4 Responses

  1. A long time presence and activity those of women, that has ever been knowned. Only this year they have been the possibility to combat like men and have been to them parified. A long time has occured but this ha happen and now they are the same rigths. claudio alpaca

  2. thanks for sharing the article, and yes, we women serving since the revoluntion, in our country, in other countries, much longer, it is a matter of our government to formally recognize it. when they say we are in support of combat operations, we are in combat, there should be no gray lines about it.

  3. […] story. And Monday, the series looked at the battle women have had to wage to get recognized for serving in combat. It dates back to […]

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