Wednesday, August 19, 2009
NYT: Living and Fighting Alongside Men, and Fitting In, by Steven Lee Myers:
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq — There is no mistaking that this dusty, gravel-strewn camp northeast of Baghdad is anything other than a combat outpost in a still-hostile land. And there is no mistaking that women in uniform have had a transformative effect on it.
They have their own quarters, boxy trailers called CHUs (the military’s acronym for containerized housing units, pronounced “chews”).
There are women’s bathrooms and showers, alongside the men’s. Married couples live together. The base’s clinic treats gynecological problems and has, alongside the equipment needed to treat the trauma of modern warfare, an ultrasound machine.
Opponents of integrating women in combat zones long feared that sex would mean the end of American military prowess. But now birth control is available — the PX at Warhorse even sold out of condoms one day recently — reflecting a widely accepted reality that soldiers have sex at outposts across Iraq.
This article talks about the increasing prevalence of sex at military outposts, and the "personnel disruptions" that occur when pregnant women are sent off-base immediately. It is utterly silent on the Congressionally imposed lack of abortion access on U.S. miltary bases, however. I address that in this letter to the NYT today.