Posted on Aug 19, 2015
COL Charles Williams
I saw this post on Face Book, a post from a West Point Soldier I served with (I asked her if I could share this). It is timely, as for some reason many believe women are not already serving in direct combat; they are, and in fact have been for years. This quote is about 1LT Laura Walker, but remember as you wring your hands about women in combat roles... women are a part of our military, and have been answering the call for centuries. When I joined the Army in 1980, the Fort McClellan CG was a female 2 Star General, MG Mary Clarke. I believe all women want, is the opportunity to serve, and to try for whatever they want. Not special treatment, or reduced standards, but the opportunity.

"10 years ago today, 18 August 2005, 1LT Laura Walker was killed in action in Afghanistan. Since the sun came up this morning, I must've sat down 4 different times at my computer, fingers motionless on the keyboard struggling to find the words that I wanted to share today to honor my fallen friend and classmate. With a few hours left in the day, I finally decided to be honest and share that I don't know what to write. I only know that I miss Laura and today was hard. Her family is in my thoughts and prayers. I also know that I was blessed to call Laura a friend; she was a beautiful human being and one of the finest leaders I've known.
Ten years and you still continue to inspire me. Thank you for your friendship, for your service, and for your sacrifice. Well done. Be thou at peace."
Edited 7 y ago
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Responses: 52
SGT Signal Support Systems Specialist
Edited 7 y ago
144 Women have passed away "Not fighting on the front line."

You are absolutely correct. Now this is just a political ploy. It sickens and saddens me. Thank you for sharing one of their stories. COL Charles Williams

1.Marine Sgt. Jeannette L. Williams,25, KC-130 crash in Pakistan mountains, Jan. 9, 2002.
2.AF Staff Sgt. Anissa Shero, 31, loadmaster, MC-130H, crash on takeoff of Special Operations mission, June 12, 2002.
3.AF 1st Lt. Tamara Archuleta, 23, co-pilot Pave Hawk helicopter, crashed while picking up two injured Afghan children, Mar. 23, 2003.
4.Sgt. Maj. Barbaralien Banks, 41, Chinook crash, Apr. 6, married, one son, 19, Apr. 6, 2005.
5.Spec. Chrystal Stout, 23, Chinook crash, Apr. 6, 2005.
6.1st Lt. Laura M. Walker, 24, IED attack on Humvee, Aug. 18, 2005.
7.Sgt. Wakkuna A. Jackson, 21, IED attack on convoy vehicle, Aug. 19, 2006.
8.Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Merideth L. Howard, 52, suicide car bomb attack on Humvee, Sept. 8, 2006.
9.Spc. Ciara Durkin, 30, gunshot wound, investigation in progress, Sept. 26, 2007.
10.Sgt. Simone Robinson, 21, IED attack in Kabul on Feb. 28, single mother of two year-old daughter, Mar. 1, 2009.
11.Navy Lt. Florence B. Choe, 35, killed by iAfghan soldier while running at Camp Shaheen, Mazar-e-Sharif, 3 year-old daughter, March 27, 2009.
12.Air Force Lt. Roslyn L. Schulte, 25, IED hit on vehicle near Kabul, May 20, 2009.
13.Air Force Senior Airman Ashton L.M. Goodman, 21, IED hit on vehicle near Bagram AFB, May 26, 2009.
14.Staff Sgt. Tara J. Smith, 33, non-combat related incident under investigation, mother of two boys, 8 and 6, August 4, 2009.
15.Sgt. Eduviges G. Wolf, 24, RPG attack on vehicle, wife and mother of two girls, ages 3 and 1, October 22, 2009.
16.Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, 22, IED, RPG attack near Kunar province, Mother of a little girl, Evelyn, Sept. 18, 2010.
17.Pfc. Jaysine P.S. Petree, 19, IED attack on vehicle traveling between Ghanzi and Bagram Airfield, Sept. 24, 2010.
18.Staff Sgt. Aracely Gonzalez O'Malley, 31, injuries in non-combat incident at Mazar-e Sharif, Oct.12, 2010.
19.Lt. Col. Gwendolyn A. Locht, 46, Evacuated from Afghnistan with non-combat illness in May, died Nov. 16,2010.
20.Sgt. Zainah C. Creamer, 28, IED attack on unit, Jan. 12, 2011.
21.Pfc. Renee Sinkler, 23, RPG attack while in turret of MRAP vehicle in convoy, Jan. 19, 2011.
22.Sgt. Linda L. Pierre, 28, Suicide bomb attack by Afghan soldier near FOB Gamberi, April 16, 2011.
23.Staff Sgt. Cynthia R. Taylor, 39, Suicide bomb attack near FOB Gamberi, April 16, 2011.
24.Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown, 33, Attack by Afghan pilot under training at Kabul Airport, April 27, 2011.
25.Spec. Devin Snyder, 20, IED on road, June 4, 2011.
26.1st Lt. Ashley White, 24, IED attack on assault force with which she was assigned as part of a cultural support team, Oct. 22, 2011.
27.PFC Sarina Butcher, 19, IED attack in Paktia Province, Nov. 1, 2011.
28.Spc. Mikayla Bragg, 21, suicide in guard post in Khowst Province, Afgthanistan, Dec. 20, 2011.
29.Spec. Erica Alecksen, 21, IED attack on vehicle, eastern Afghanistan, July 8, 2012.
30.Spec. Krystal M. Fitts, 26, indirect fire while serving on a Female Engagement Team, July 17, 2012.
31.Pfc. Patricia L. Horne, 20, cause of death in Bagram not reported, August 24, 2012.
32.CWO Thalia Ramirez, helicopter crash in Logar province, Sept. 5, 2012.
33.Sgt. Donna Johnson, suicide bomber attack, Oct. 1, 2012.
34.Sgt. Camella M. Steedley, USMC, 31, mother of four young children, cause of death under investigation, Oct. 3, 2012.
35.Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, 24, attack by suicide bomber in Zabul province, Oct. 13, 2012.
36.Capt. Sara M. Knutson, 27, UH-60 helicopter crash near Kandahar, Mar. 11, 2013.
37.AF Capt. Victoria Pinckney, 27, mother of 7 month-old son, crash of KC-135 tanker refueling plane in mountains of Kyrgyzstan, May 3, 2013.
38.Maj. Jaimie Leonard, 39, attack by person wearing ANA uniform, southwest of Kabul, June 8, 2013.
39.Spc. Ember Alt, 21, enemy attack near Bagram AFB, June 18, 2013.
40.Spc. Hilda I. Clayton, 22, explosion while training with Afghan troops, non-combat mission, July 4, 2013.
41.Spc. Caryn E. Nouv, 29, mother of two young children, IED attack, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, July 27, 2013.
42.Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, IED ambush while accompanying Rangers as nurse in Zhari District, October 6, 2013.
Iraq: 1.Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, captured, died in captivity, Mar. 23, 2003, two children, 4 and 3, Mar. 23, 2003.
2.Sgt. Melissa Valles, 26, non-combat gunshot wound to abdomen, cause unknown, July 10, 2003.
3.Spc. Alyssa Renee Peterson, 27, gunshot wound to head, cause unknown, Sept. 15, 2003.
4.Pfc. Analaura Esparza Gutierrez, 21, RPG attack on supply vehicle, Oct. 1, 2003.
5.Spc. Tamarra J. Ramos,24, non-combat injuries, armor medical company, Oct. 1, 2003.
6.Pfc. Rachel Bosveld, 19, MP, attack on Baghdad police station, Oct. 26, 2003.
7.Pfc. Karina Sotelo Lau,20, Chinook crash, under fire, Nov. 2, 2003.
8.Spc. Frances M. Vega, 20, Chinook crash, under fire, Nov. 2, 2003.
9.Chief Warrant Officer Sharon T. Swartworth, 43, CWO, JAG Corps, Blackhawk downed under fire, Nov. 7, 2003.
10.Sgt. Linda C. Jiminez, injuries following a fall in Baghdad, Nov. 8, 2003.
11.Staff Sgt. Kimberley Voelz, 27, explosive ordnance disposal expert, bomb exploded, died in soldier husband's arms, Dec. 14, 2003.
12.Capt. Kimberly Hampton, 27, helicopter pilot, downed under fire, Jan. 4, 2004.
13.Sgt. Keicia M. Hines, 27, MP, struck by vehicle, Jan. 14, 2004
14.Pfc. Holly Jeanne McGeogh, 19, vehicle hit by IED, Jan. 31, 2004.
15.Pfc. Nichole M. Frye, 19, Civil Affairs Reservist, vehicle hit by IED, Feb. 16, 2004.
16.Capt. Gussie Jones, 41,non-combat death (surgical nurse, possible heart attack), Mar. 7, 2004.
17.Spc. Tyanna Avery-Felder, 22, shrapnel wounds, Apr. 4, 2004.
18.Spc. Michelle Witmer, 20, Wisconsin NG MP, killed by small arms attack (one of three sisters in the Army), Apr. 9, 2004.
19.Spc. Isela Rubalcava, 25, hit by mortar round to Stryker brigade, May 8, 2004.
20.Pfc. Leslie D. Jackson, 18,vehicle hit by IED, May 20, 2004.
21.Pfc. Melissa J. Hobart, 22, collapsed while on guard duty, mother of 3 year-old, June 6, 2004.
22.Spc. Julie R. Hickey, 20, Civil Affairs Reservist, died in Germany after complications from non-combat related illness, July 4, 2004.
23.Sgt. Linda Terango-Griess, Ordnance Company Reservist, 33, vehicle hit by IED, July 11, 2004.
24.Sgt. Tatjana Reed, 34, vehicle hit by IED, July 22, 2004.
25.Sgt. Shawna L. Morrison, 26, IL NG, 26, hit by shrapnel when barracks mortared, Sept. 5, 2004.
26.Spc. Jessica L. Cawvey, 21, vehicle hit by mortar, single mother of 6 year-old, Oct. 6, 2004.
27.Sgt. Pamela Osbourne, 38, three children, ages 9 t0 19, Oct. 11, 2004.
28.Sgt. Cari Anne Gasiewicz, 28, convoy vehicle hit by grenade, Dec. 4, 2004.
29.Sgt. Tina S. Time, 22, vehicle accident, Dec. 13, 2004.
30.Sgt. Jessica M. Housby, 23, IL NG, hit by IED near truck convoy, Feb. 9, 2005.
31.Spc. Katrina L. Bell-Johnson, 32, truck overturned, cause unknown, mother of 1 year-old, Feb. 16, 2005.
32.Spc. Adrianna Salem, 21, vehicle rolled over, unknown cause, Feb. 21, 2005.
33.Pfc. Sam W. Huff, 18, IED attack on Humvee, April 18, 2005.
34.Spc. Aleina Ramirez Gonzales, 33, Puerto Rico, mortar attack on forward operating base, Apr. 29, 2005.
35.Spc. Lizbeth Robles, 31, vehicle accident, Mar. 1, 2005.
36.Spc. Carrie L. French, 19, bomb hit on convoy, June 5, 2005
37.Marine Lance Cpl. Holly Charette, 21, attack on truck convoy in Fallujah, June 23, 2005.
38.Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Regina Clark, 43, 1 18 year-old son, Fallujah attack on truck convoy, June 23, 2005.
39.Marine Cpl. Ramona Valdez, 20, Fallujah attack on truck convoy, June 23, 2005.
40.Staff Sgt. Tricia L. Jameson, 34, medical specialist, Army NG, IED explosion while responding to a casualty incident, July 14, 2005.
41.Pfc. LaVena L. Johnson, 19, non-combat related injuries, July 19, 2005.
42.Spec. Toccara Green, 23, IED explosion, Aug. 14, 2005
43.Airman 1st Class Elizabeth N. Jacobson, 21, IED explosion, Sept. 28, 2005.
44.1st Lt. Debra A. Banaszak, 35, non-combat related injuries, Oct. 28, 2005.
45.Sgt. Julia V. Atkins, 22,IED attack near Humvee, Dec. 10, 2005.
46.Sgt. Regina C. Reali, 25, IED attack, Dec. 23, 2005.
47.Sgt. Myla L. Maravillosa, 24, RPG attack on Humvee, Dec. 24, 2005.
48.1st Lt. Jaime L. Campbell, 25, helicopter crash, Jan. 7, 2006
49.AF Senior Airman Alecia S. Good, 28, Gulf of Aden helicopter collision, Feb. 17, 2006.
50.Pvt. First Class Tina M. Priest, 20, gunshot wound to the chest, unknown cause, Mar. 1, 2006.
51.Pfc. Amy Duerksen, 19, of injuries suffered in Iraq, Mar. 11, 2006.
52.Spc. Amanda Pinson, 21, mortar attack while waiting for bus transport, Mar. 16, 2006.
53.Marine Lance Cpl. Juana Navarro Arellano, 24, of wounds received in Iraq, April 8 , 2006.
54.Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime S. Jaenke, 29, Humvee struck by IED, Iraq, mother of 9 year old girl June 5, 2006.
55.Pfc. Hannah L. Gunterman, 20, mother of a 2 year-old boy, killed by a fellow soldier in a vehicle accident in Taji, Iraq, Sept. 4, 2006.
56.2nd Lt. J. T. Perez, 23, IED explosion near Humvee in Al Kifl, Iraq, Sept. 12, 2006.
57.Sgt. Jennifer M. Hartman, 21, suicide bomber attack on West Baghdad Substation, Sept. 14, 2006.
58.1st Lt. Ashley (Henderson) Huff, 23, suicide attack on convoy, near her Humvee, Sept. 19, 2006.
59.Sgt. Jeannette T. Dunn, 44, of non-combat related injuries, Nov. 26, 2006.
60.Maj. Megan McClung, USMC, 34, IED attack near Ramadi in the Anbar province, Iraq, Dec. 6, 2006
61.Maj. Gloria D. Davis, 47, gunshot wound in a non-combat related incident, Dec. 12, 2006.
62.Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki, 23, ordnance disposal team targeted by car bomb, Jan. 7, 2007.
63.Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, Black Hawk helicopter crash near Baghdad, Jan. 20, 2007.
64.Spc. Carla J. Stewart, 37, transportation convoy vehicle rollover, Jan. 30, 2007.
65.Marine Cpl. Jennifer M. Parcell, 20, female suicide bomber attack at checkpoint in Anbar province, Iraq, Feb. 7, 2007.
66.Marine Capt. Jennifer J. Harris, 28, helicopter crash due to enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq, Feb. 7, 2007.
67.Sgt. Ashly L. Moyer, 21, IED detonation near her MP vehicle, Mar. 3, 2007.
68.Pfc. Katie M. Soenksen, 19, IED detonation near her MP vehicle, May 2, 200.7
69.Spc. Karen Clifton, 22, RPG attack on her vehicle, near Baghdad, June 21, 2007.
70.Sgt. Trista L. Moretti, 27, indirect fire during an insurgent attack, June 25, 2007.
71.Spec. Michelle R. Ring, 24, mother of two young boys, mortar fire attack in Baghdad, July 5, 2007.
72.Capt. Maria I. Ortiz, 40, indirect fire attack in Baghdad, July 10, 2007.
73.Staff Sgt. Alicia A. Birchett, 29, non-combat related accident in Baghdad, mother of 3 young boys, Aug. 9, 2007.
74.Sgt. Princess C. Samuels, 22, indirect fire near Taji, Iraq, Aug. 15, 2007.
75.Spc. Zandra T. Worthy-Walker, 28, indirect fire near Taji, Iraq, Aug. 15, 2007.
76.Spc. Kamisha J. Block, 20, non-combat "friendly fire" incident, MP battalion in Iraq, Aug. 16, 2007.
77.Spc. Marisol Heredia, 19, injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident, July 18 in Baghdad, Sept. 7, 2007.
78.Capt. (Dr.) Roselle M. Hoffmaster, 32, Kirkuk, Iraq, non-combat related incident under investigation, Sept. 20, 2007.
79.Spc. Rachel L. Hugo, 24, IED and small arms attack on MP unit, Bayji, Iraq, Oct. 5, 2007.
80.Staff Sgt. Lillian Clamens, 35, RPG attack near Baghdad, mother of 3 young children, Oct. 10, 2007.
81.2nd Lt. Tracy L. Alger, 30, IED attack in Shubayshen, Iraq, Nov. 1, 2007, while serving in a forward support company (FSC) attached to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment. (All soldiers in the war are "in harm's way," but Direct Ground Combat-collocated support units at the battalion level are required by DoD regulation to be all male.)
82.Staff Sgt. Carletta S. Davis, 34, IED attack in Tal Al-Dahab, Iraq, mother of three sons, Nov. 5. 2007.
83.Spc. Keisha M. Morgan, 25, non-combat related cause under investigation, Feb. 22, 2008.
84.Marine Lance Cpl. Casey Casanova, 22, IED attack in Iraq, May 2, 2008.
85.Spc. Mary J. Jaenichen, 20, non-combat related injury that is under investigation, May 9, 2008.
86.Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis, 24, IED attack on her medical vehicle, near Baghdad, Iraq, May 11, 2008.
87.AF Tech Sgt. Jackie L. Larsen, 37, non-combat related natural causes following non-hostile action, Balad AFB, July 17, 2008.
88.Pfc. Jennifer L. Cole, 34, non-combat related incident, under investigation, Bayji, Iraq, Aug. 2, 2008.
89.Lance Cpl. Stacy Ann Dryden, 22, non-combat related incident under investigation, al-Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2008.
90.Spc. Jessica Y. Sarandrea, 22, mortar fire on forward operating base near Mosul, Mar. 3, 2009
91.Staff Sgt. Army C. Tirador, 29, non-combat incident near Kirkush, Nov. 4, 2009.
92.Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, 20, MP, injuries sustained supporting combat operations, Feb. 20, 2010.
93.CWO2 Billie Jean Grinder, 25, hard helicopter landing, Feb. 21, 2010.
94.Spc. Lakeshia M. Bailey, 23, vehicle rollover in Al Kut, Iraq, Mar. 8, 2010.
95.Pfc. Erin L. McLyman, 26, mortar attack on base, Balad, Iraq, Mar. 13, 2010.
96.Spc. Morganne M. McBeth, 19, homicide by fellow soldier with a knife, Khan Al Baghdadi, Iraq, July 2, 2010.
97.Spc. Faith R. Hinkley, 23, RPG attack on unit in Iraq, Aug. 7, 2010.
98.Navy Boatswain Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villot-Carrasco, 23, suicide aboard the destroyer USS James E. Williams on her first deployment as part of OIF, Red Sea, June 19, 2013.
Kuwait: 1.Reserve Sgt. Denise Lannaman, 46, non-combat-related incident at Camp Arifjan, Oct. 1, 2006.
2.Pfc. Cwislyn K. Walter, 19, non-combat related, near Kuwait City, Feb. 19, 2009.
3.Navy Operations Spec. 2nd Class Dominique D. Cruz, 26, Jan. 19, Gulf of Oman.
4.Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing, 42, non-combat cause of death in Kuwait under investigation, Aug. 27, 2012.
SPC Javier Maldonado
SPC Javier Maldonado
7 y
RIP all!
SPC (Non-Rated)
SPC (Join to see)
>1 y
Not to take anything away from these women giving the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but most of the women on this list died as a result of accidents...not actual combat.
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1SG Senior Enlisted Advisor
Edited 7 y ago
Excellent! Thanks for Sharing.

Women have been in harms way even before the war on Terrorism. They have proven themselve over and over. It is long overdue.
CPT Technician
CPT (Join to see)
7 y
Exactly !
TSgt Gwen Walcott
TSgt Gwen Walcott
7 y
ever since The Revolution!
SSgt Adrene Wike
SSgt Adrene Wike
7 y
Funny I was just having this conversation with my husband this morning. We were talking about the two women that just made it through ranger school.
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CMSgt James Nolan
COL Charles Williams Sir your friend is an eloquent speaker, and this is a timely post, as this is clearly a topic of wide debate.

My opinion is this: if a female Soldier/Airman/Marine/Sailor/Coast Guardsman (not sure of the applicable abbreviation-and any of our Coast Guard Brothers/Sisters feel free to advise) chooses to enter into a combat MOS/AFSC, let them, and let them go in, eyes wide open. Keep the standards up at the levels that they are at, as weakened combat troops are just that. I serve with and have served with many highly capable female SMs and I do not feel that they should be sexually discriminated against. I do feel that there will be difficulties in moving into those roles, as the real world is quite different than the training world, but if they go into the task knowing full well the difficulties and hardships then I say go for it.

At the end of the day, female SMs have been in the AOR since day one, some much more so than others, and combat will find it's way into every area of the AOR, there simply is no place that is "off limits" to combat. Many female SMs have not only been relevant in those situations, but have been outstanding, period. Women, just as men feel the calling to serve our Nation, and should be afforded the opportunities. Not all will seek out those MOS/AFSCs, but then neither will all men.
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