Congratulations to Cpt. Kristen Griest and 1stLt. Shaye Haver for making it through West Point and the Army Rangers' program. It couldn't have been easy.
How do I know?
A long time ago, I was in the Women's Army Corps. I was a WAC. They don't exist any more and I wasn't in long enough to do much damage. There were plenty of young women, strong, courageous, talented, intelligent young women who were in for a full enlistment. To them, I tip my hat.
Basic training back then was hard, though not as hard as it was for men during the Vietnam War era. I wasn't athletic, but it sure would have helped. Most of the women who were with me (150 of them) were as soft and girly as I was. The physical pain and endurance was hard. Staying awake all night and marching five miles with a full pack in one day was hard. Attending classes for hours in the Alabama heat. Crawling on your belly, getting tear-gassed, buttoning buttons and zipping all zippers, scouring toilets and polishing floors...I consider that hard.
What these two abovementioned women did was stupendous.
I was a WAC because there was no other way I could support the fighters though not the war. I had to prove to myself that I could DO something, not just sit around and complain or watch television news and wonder if that was my brother being blown up. (He was there.)
But as much as I admire these women, something inside me, the real inner me who is old and physically past any prime I nearly had, wonders if it is going to be worth it. Is it going to be worth being the two Rangers in a field of so many strong, brave, powerful men who in the long run will probably be physically more fit because they're made that way?
Once again, I am thinking of myself in their boots and that is wrong. So wrong.
I wish you both enormous luck and safe journeys. Godspeed.
I'll be praying for you.