Like her male counterpart, the female soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, has proven herself a capable warrior in defense of the United States. Since colonial times, women have proven their fitness for service in defense of our country. Although the existing regulations and rules of engagement limit a woman's role to in theory support missions apart from active combat, most people quickly realize the bright lines of these regulations and rules are often blurred by the realities of engaging an enemy who does not fight by those same regulations and rules of engagement. The realities of modern military life expose the female soldier, sailor, airman or marine to the stress and horrors experienced by those who daily protect our American freedoms.
For whatever reason, women often suffer from post traumatic stress disorder is greater numbers then men. Statistically, women will suffer mental and emotional effects from exposure to the stress and horrors of combat in numbers far greater then men. By no means is this a sign of weakness. But instead, many psychological experts have voiced opinions it instead is based on a higher intelligence or a different means of intellectually coping with such stress and horrors.
Unfortunately, females are also sometimes exposed to the most wicked of treatment. Physical and sexual assault on them simply because they are female. While these instances are extraordinarily rare due to an attempt at zero-tolerance for such behavior by the military command, these crimes do happen. Sometimes they are unpunished when reported. Even worse, sometimes these crimes - and that is exactly what they are - are not even reported for fear of reprisal or alienation. The woman then is forced to suffer in silence, never being able to process the event. It simply festers and causes significant emotional and psychological problems.
To its credit the VA is beginning to appreciate these facts. Candidly, it has done so only because it has been forced to do so by aggressive arguments voiced by veterans, veterans' advocates, the Congress and even the highest levels of the military command. However, regardless of the reason why, the VA does award women disability compensation for the effects of PTSD. Whether caused by the stress and horrors of combat [and other military life], or through a physical assault by another, the VA accepts these events as recognized causes of PTSD.
Female Vets Slam the VA - PTSD
A Scandal Bigger Than Walter Reed - The Rape, Assault & Harassment of Women in the Military
Traumatic Statistics - PTSD
Editorial - We Need to Protect Women in the Military Now
The Woman's War