Shortly after arriving in the Indian Ocean during the war in Afghanistan, I launched attack planes from the aircraft carrier of my battle group, one of which had a young female pilot. Over Afghanistan that night, she disregarded a standing order not to dive low without permission. U.S. Special Forces had been ambushed by the Taliban; four were dead and she felt there was no time to request permission to save the rest. She immediately dove and strafed, and in her covering fire, the remaining men were able to extract their dead and themselves.
When I joined up during the Vietnam era, there were no women on aircraft carriers, never mind flying attack aircraft off them. Because woman were later given an individual opportunity to achieve all they might desire in our Navy, our common mission that night in Afghanistan was better and saved U.S. soldiers. I believe all Americans should be given the opportunity to be all they can be in order to contribute to this nation. That includes allowing women the full capacities to defend America if they choose.