Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Life as a Female Soldier in Iraq

In honor of Veteran's Day, we thought we'd share this TWM Spring 2008 eNewsletter article where we reviewed our special TWM Signature Panel Series event marking the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq featuring women who had recently served in our armed forces both there and in Afghanistan. You can read about the event itself in more detail as it was featured in Women's eNews, on Divine Caroline and TWM's Inspirer Newsletter.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

female soldier group
Our panelists left to right: First Lieutenant Jennifer Karakat (Army), Sergeant Chrissy DeCaprio (Marines), Sergeant Carolyn Schapper (Army); Specialist Petty Officer Emily Stroia (Navy), Staff Sergeant Luz Gonzalez (Army) and our moderator Adaora Udoji, co-host of The Takeaway on WNYC/PRI

On Tuesday, March 11th TWM brought together a diverse panel of women who have served in the armed forces for an intimate look at the military culture from a female perspective, exploring the issues that these women have had to deal with abroad, and how they have been able to integrate and re-adjust back to their life at home.   Thanks to all who participated in this conversation!

 Below you can read some of the responses from those who attended and link to published articles about it as well. 

My Life as a Female Soldier in Iraq is by far one of the best programs I've ever attended. Not only was I able to develop a greater appreciation for these women as strong, competent role models, but the personal tone was much more refreshing than the usual political one. Even when questions were posed that might at first seem political were really still about the women's personal experiences and the thoughts they have about the lives of their fellow soldiers. - Sally M.

This event was excellent. I thought that it would be anti-American and a lot of griping - but instead I took away a feeling of admiration and respect for these women. The format gave both speakers and audience a chance to participate. It was very enlightening - Great job!  -  Carol Anne P.

 The opportunity to hear women of such varied backgrounds was really eye-opening.  - Linda K.

I just wanted to send out a small note expressing how touched I was last night. I found myself reflecting on my grandmother throughout the whole evening - she served in the military in the 1940's during World War II, where she met and married my grandfather, who was in the military as well. Last night, I looked at the women who serve today, and the struggles they encounter and barriers they conquer. It made me so proud of what my grandmother had accomplished. I look back on what a strong a women she must have been to serve whenchrissy it was extremely uncommon for women to enlist; I also realized how far women have come in society, and how much further we still have to go. - Lisette M.

I am honored to be my mother's child, who served as a Lieutenant in the Indian Army as a nurse.  Seeing her struggles and what she went through to become the success she is today has influenced me to be the woman I strive to be, or at least half of what my mother is.  That said, having the opportunity to sit on a panel and speak openly and honestly about my own experiences in the military has made me realize that sharing our stories allows us to speak of our shining moments.  SSG Luz Gonzalez and I spoke of who and what we would be if it were not for the military and I felt such a connection with her (and the other women, who I could not be more in awe of).  I knew I was meant to meet her and relate to her and vice versa.  - Jenny K.

While most of the mainstream media continue to focus on scandals and corruption, it was a welcome relief to see and hear from some of the women who have lived un-glamorous and dangerous lives in service to this country. Regardless of how any of us feel about the War in Iraq, it is important to have events like "My Life as a Female Soldier in Iraq" to remember and honor that small, but significant minority of women who continue to change attitudes about gender in the U.S. military.  - Pauline K.




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