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My cousin joined the military, and my uncles were so proud of him. But when I said that I wanted to join, they said no.
In elementary school a veteran came to visit our class, and spoke about the trauma of war. But what amazed me was how proud he was of his accomplishments. After he finished his speech I pictured myself in an army uniform. I wanted to feel heroic too.
But, last year when I told my family I wanted to enlist, they said, “Being a woman in the military is a different set of risks.” I was disappointed, but I tried to understand. It’s not only whether I come home in one piece. My uncle asked, “What about the men in the army who are predators?”
After that, I started noticing news reports about women getting raped in the military. Sometimes their officers didn’t even believe them. I always pictured the enemy being on the other side — not on our side. It’s frustrating and unfair.
I’m still considering enlisting, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my rights — risk becoming a victim when I should be making my family proud.