The Marines have suspended use of 60 millimeter mortars after a round exploded in its firing tube during a training exercise. At least seven Marines were killed and several were injured in the blast Monday night during mountain warfare training in Nevada's high desert.
According to Pentagon research, a quarter of all women who join the military are sexually assaulted during their careers. Many cases go unreported, and some victims say the perpetrator is a superior to whom they would have to report the assault.
For years, the Army has effectively ignored the ban against women in combat, though it's still hard for them to receive full recognition for what they've achieved. "Battle-fatigued female soldiers" is a new and uneasy concept for American society.
For many female veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, new battles await when they return home. They need help, just like men — with jobs, PTSD and reconnecting with family. But these issues can be harder for women. And the darkest side of women's military service persists: sexual assault.
The war has cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, and there are many who will live with its legacy forever. Now, as it tries to stabilize without U.S. combat troops, the conflict in neighboring Syria could threaten its security.
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