Local female veterans say women should always have the right to serve on front lines

By WKTV News Staff

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the ban Thursday on women serving in direct combat roles, more than 23 years after then-U.S. Army Capt. Linda Bray led 45 military police officers in a firefight during the invasion of Panama.

Two local women at Folts Home in Herkimer, one an employee, one a resident, served in the armed forces during two very different generations.

Dorris Lewis served in the Navy during WWII while Robyn Damron served as Military Police from 1979 to 1985.

Both said if they were called to serve on the front lines, they would have felt prepared to do so. They also say they are glad the gender barrier has been eliminated and there is now equality for all in the military.

"They will find out that they can do it just as good, if not better," Lewis said.

"I think they should if they want to," Damron said. "It is their right and their choice and they work very hard to make it to that point. Not everyone, including men, can make it through, say a basic training."

Both feel women should always have the choice whether or not they want to serve on the front lines.

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