I was a soldier for 8.5 years. I was a linguist; Chinese and Korean, to be exact. That didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, however. I’ve spent two years in combat zones, both theaters: Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve been shot at. Blown up. I took three rounds directly through my backpack, missing both me and the mortars on the bag by inches. I’ve participated in occupying civilians’ houses in the middle of the night because it was an ideal location to set up our communication…Held entire families outside in the chilled night while we use their house. I’ve been in a truck that was directly hit by a 200 lb IED. The vehicle was thrown 200 feet from the blast site, rolling tow and a half times. I’ve slept in, on top of, and under trucks. I’ve spent nights on top of mountains, in apple orchards and behind houses. There’s no such thing as “women aren’t on the ‘font lines’.” I was a soldier, and I was treated as such.
I’ve seen war. It’s time for peace.