Thursday, February 4, 2016

‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’ and GI Janes

‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’ to Spotlight Women Veterans 
Jackie Maffucci 
Guest Columnist 
FEBRUARY 3, 2016 

In the premiere episode of TBS’ new late night talk show, “Full Frontal,” Samantha Bee investigates how the Veterans Administration will be prepared for the needs of women, given that combat jobs will now be open to them. Guest columnist Dr. Jackie Maffucci offers her perspective on the needs of women in the service, and how they’re treated once they leave active duty.

As a kid, the military was a mystery to me. Service members were embodied by a cartoon and and an action figure: GI Joe. It’s only now that, after working for nearly a decade as a civilian in the military and veteran communities, I’m led to ask, what about GI Jane?

To this day, as a nation, we don’t see women as combat veterans. We only see GI Joe. And yet, the military is at its most diverse point, with women as the fastest growing population both in service and in the veteran community. 

They comprise nearly 20 percent of new recruits, 15 percent of the 1.4 million active duty force, and 18 percent of the 850,000 reserve component. In 2003, they represented six percent of the veteran population; today, they represent 10 percent. 

So what about GI Jane? Why do we still refuse to see her, to support her and acknowledge the sacrifices that she’s made for this country?
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