Local veterans comment on women in combat - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Local veterans comment on women in combat

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The regimented lifestyle of the US Postal Service was a good fit for Robin Sisco.

She spent 10 years as a US Marine working with computers and logistics. Front line combat didn't interest her.

"Any military service isn't supported just by your front line guys," says Sisco. "You have logistics, supplies, cooking. It takes all of us working together to make this unit run."

But soon front line guys could be front line girls.

The Pentagon announced Thursday that women will be allowed to serve in combat roles.

Sisco says it's a win for equality as long as recruits are up to the task.

"I think it still comes down to if you're trained, mentally and physically qualified, and there's a need and you want to apply and move in that direction you should be allowed to go," she says.

"Everybody knew it was coming," said Combat Veteran Steven Diaz, who served alongside women in Iraq. He admits at times, he felt distracted.

"I noticed I did get more protective, so did I lose my focus? Probably," he says. "But we were still able to do our job."

But Diaz has concerns about the immediate impact of women on the front lines. He believes over time, the military axiom of adapt and overcome will work things out. But there will be growing pains.

"What is worrisome is it is an experiment that will have to be done, and it will cost lives," he says. You can't just bring something new to the battlefield and try to do it in a controlled environment when combat itself is not a controlled environment."

It's an experiment that will take years to implement. The armed services have until 2016 to make the change.

Despite not serving in front line roles, more than 150 women have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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