Poll: Valley residents support women in combat roles

FRESNO, Calif.

American's top generals voted unanimously to give women the right to fight, paving the way for women to start serving in hundreds of thousands of front line positions and potentially allowing them to serve with elite forces after more than a decade at war. People here in the Valley say they agree with the decision.

In an exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, 59 percent said that they think women should be allowed to serve in combat roles, while 36 percent think they shouldn't.

Many female veterans say there are no more front lines in war, and that means they've been serving in combat roles for years now. Many women veterans say this is about equality, and they say it's a day they've been waiting for, for a long time.

For Mary Cordova, military life started when she was a kid. "My brother was a Green Beret in the Army and my brother was a Green Beret in the Army and I used to look at it all the time and say that's what I want to be."

Cordova was only 14 years old when she enlisted into a program called "delayed entry". Four years later she was in the Army, shipped around the country and world, and couldn't have been prouder. For her, there was no gender barrier.

"I was one of 20 women on an infantry post, we were limited of what we could and couldn't do, but physically we had to do exactly what the men did." said Cordova.

Which is why Cordova says, that ban on women serving in combat was blurred overseas. "All along they've been in the combat zone, maybe they didn't have the label but they were there."

While not in active duty anymore, the military is still very much a part of Cordova's world. She divides her time as a finance officer for the American Legion and helping veterans of every generation cope with life after war.

"I got to thank them in some way, I can't be out there with them but I can be here when they come back," said Cordova.

The changes was announced on Thursday, but won't happen overnight. Military services have until 2016 to make a case that some positions should remain closed to women.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.