PLEDGE NOW
American Women at War
Sergeant Michelle Brookfield Wilmot on guard duty in Ramadi, Iraq in April 2005. Photograph by Spc. Miranda Mattingly.

Sergeant Michelle Brookfield Wilmot on guard duty in Ramadi, Iraq in April 2005. (Photo by Spc. Miranda Mattingly.)

In the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American women in uniform are everywhere and almost anywhere. In conflicts without clear front-lines, where old distinctions of combat and non-combat troops are hard — impossible — to uphold.

In the air over Tal Afar, in a Kiowa scout helicopter, chasing insurgents down alleyways from the sky with a .50 caliber machine gun and rockets at the ready.

On the ground, gun in hand, guarding convoys, raiding homes, saving soldiers with a medic’s pack, rumbling through the roadside bombs.

And they’re bringing what they see back home, as veterans, with more bloody, in-the-thick-of-it memories than female American vets have ever known.

This hour, On Point: On Veterans Day, American women at war.

You can join the conversation. Female veterans, tell us about your experiences at war. In Iraq. In Afghanistan. Tell us about going, fighting, surviving. Tell us about coming home.

Guests:

From Baghdad, we’re joined by Tina Susman, the Baghdad bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. She’s recently been embedded with U.S. troops.

Joining us from Washington is Ann Scott Tyson, Pentagon and military correspondent for The Washington Post.

From Amherst, Mass., we’re joined by Sergeant Rachel McNeill, Army Reserve. She served in Iraq from December 2004 to December 2005, starting out as a heavy construction equipment operator and shifting to security for convoys out of Ramadi. She’s 24 years old, grew up in Wisconsin, and joined the Army Reserve her senior year of high school, after 9/11, when she was 17.

Also from Amherst, we’re joined by Kirsten Holmstedt, author of “Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq” (2007). She’s at work on a new book about women returning home from war.

And joining us from New York is Meg McLagan, a documentary filmmaker and cultural anthropologist. She’s co-director and co-producer of the new documentary “Lioness,” which documents female soldiers of the Iraq War who took part in the Lioness program, in which women accompanied male teams on raids and house searches. The film will air nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens this Thursday, Nov. 13.

More links:

You can watch the Independent Lens “Lioness” trailer on YouTube, here:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 5, 2016
Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters, Monday, May 2, 2016, in Detroit. Detroit Public Schools transition manager Steven Rhodes says 45,628 of approximately 46,000 students were forced to miss classes Monday as 1,562 teachers called in sick. The mass sick-out has forced the district to close 94 of its 97 schools. Detroit's schools are expected to be out of cash starting July 1. The state earlier gave the district $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep it open through June 30 as the Legislature considers a $720 million restructuring plan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Fixing Michigan- from Flint’s water crisis to failing schools in Detroit. Are state takeovers the answers or the problem?

May 5, 2016
Rob Reiner with his son, Nick. [Courtesy: Paladin]

Filmmaker, actor Rob Reiner and his son, Nick, get personal in their new film “Being Charlie,” which takes on drug addiction.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

 
May 4, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, and daughter Ivanka, left, as he arrives for a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Results from the 2016 Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment