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Cpl. Christina Oliver, center, during a patrol in Marja, Afghanistan in 2010.

Lynsey Addario, New York Times

Letter of the Day (June 21): Women in combat

  • June 20, 2013 - 9:03 PM

It is with sadness and dismay that I read the June 18 article “Women can get elite combat jobs.”

I realize that there are women who view this as opportunity to show a woman’s strength by entering a field that has typically been male-dominated. I see this as being counter to what a woman’s true strengths are: namely to be a major source of loving tenderness and caring respect for the sanctity of life.

This is true strength, as it is up against an increasingly harsh and violent world. If I may quote from Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom”: “Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight.” It is through a mother’s (and a father’s) initial loving, nurturing care (or lack of it) that essentially creates the person we grow up to be. Is that not one huge strength, to be able to influence the future in so positive a way?

Perhaps it is going to take seeing women maimed and blown up and killed to give pause to this trend. And to those who deem love and tenderness as weakness, I would ask them to really question where that “value” has its roots.

MARGARET DEHARPPORTE, Eden Prairie

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