‘We don’t shower for a month… and we’re often naked’: Male soldiers warn female comrades of harsh conditions on frontline as Panetta lifts battlefield ban on women
- Ex-soldiers tell of how they often have to relieve themselves inches away from one another inside cramped tanks
- Other times they are all forced to strip naked and wash with power hoses
- Say that it will be awkward having women thrown in the harrowing mix
- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to announce plan today
A number of former soldiers have spoken out against the move because of the tough logistical life of fighters on the front line, even though many outsiders see Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat positions as a progressive move.
Some have spoken out about how the move ignores some of the realities of war, like disgusting unhygienic conditions and the way that soldiers are sometimes forced to change in front of one another, in favor of gender equality.
One wrote a letter in the Wall Street Journal describing the conditions he faced on the front line when he was involved in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Up to 25 Marines at a time were packed into an amphibious assault vehicles intended to hold only 15, with the Marines sitting ontop of one another for long periods of time.
‘Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face,’ Ryan Smith wrote in the opinion piece.
He went on to say that they were unable to change out of their chemical protective suits for nearly a month, and once they secured Baghdad, they finally changed out of the suits which were caked in blood and human filth at that point.