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Retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Barbara Cogburn of Oceanside is one of the nation’s more than 1.6 million female veterans who believe the ban prohibiting women from combat roles should be lifted.

“If a woman has the capability and can do the job, she should be allowed to do it,” said Cogburn, who served during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and march to Baghdad.

“I think it’s the public that’s more bothered by the notion of women being killed or tortured,” she said. “But horrible things happen every day in conflicts.”

Roughly half of the 151 U.S. servicewomen who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan died in what the Pentagon classifies as a “hostile” or combat incident, according to the website icasualties.org.

About 230,000 of the more than 2 million troops who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan are women.

Source: Mark Walker for NC Times.

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