The nature of the war in Iraq has changed the roll of women in the military and, in particular, combat. The consequence is that women are facing combat related amputation for the first time.

On the Fourth of July, most people see patriotism and the sacrifices of war as masculine values. A vast majority of the nearly 2.6 million Americans killed or wounded in major conflicts since the Revolutionary War have been men.

But in today’s war, women play a larger role and even are at risk “inside the wire” of a secured base. Of the 4,650 U.S. troops whose deaths the Defense Department counts relating to the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, 110 were women, and 61 of them were killed in combat.

Dick Cheney will even sacrifice moms to maintain the staggering growth of his Halliburton stock. The last time I checked (about a year ago), Cheney had yet to attend a service for a fallen soldier.

“Times have changed since the olden days of war,” Ramos, who’s 25 and single, wrote from Iraq. “Women are sitting in those turrets, manning those 50 cals (.50-caliber machine guns) or Mark 19s (grenade launchers). Yes, this is a male-dominated profession, but there are many memorials out here of the women who have given their lives to this war.”

Give your life to a war – we have to raise our children to want to give their life to peace