Veterans have positive response to women being allowed in combat

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement on Thursday, January 24th.  

Linda Dancker shared her reaction Thursday, January 24th to word that outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repealed the ban which prevented female service members from officially participating in combat.

Dancker served as a Marine as is a veteran of the Vietnam War. She says during her service, female service members were told they were more important to the effort at home.

Dancker says the policy prevented a lot of skilled members of the military from having their skills fully utilized. 

"There are a lot of good, intelligent women out there. The male ego doesn't wanna admit that women can handle that duty," Dancker said.

Heather Antoniewicz is the director of Dry Hootch, a Milwaukee-based veterans' organization.

Currently a member of the Navy Reserves, Antoniewicz explained that during her four years of service in Iraq, from 1999 through 2003, she saw female service members put their boots on the ground and stand tall.

"I know plenty of women out there who have been in combat and do as good if not better than the men," Antoniewicz said.

Critics of the new policy have expressed concerns about it, but Dancker disagrees.

"My response would be 'Bah Humbug,' you know? You're crazy," Dancker said.