|FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq, March 1, 2007 — Women throughout history have faced many barriers such as not being able to vote, get a secondary education, hold a government position or work in combat arms. But with time, many of these restrictions have crumbled because women are willing to go the extra mile.
One such woman is Pfc. Evelyn Williams of Temple Hills, Md., the only woman in the Personal Security Detachment for the command group of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Her role isn't one of support, but rather one of combat, as Williams is a 7.62 mm machine gun operator. This role isn't something that surprised Williams, as she would have been a gunner if she had stayed with her military police company.
She sits in the turret of the lead vehicle and takes her position seriously. She must keep a sharp eye for snipers, grenade attacks, suicide bombers, and improvised explosive devices.
"Basically, I feel if something happened, I would be responsible because I am the eyes for all the vehicles," Williams said.
Even though she keeps a sharp eye and had safe ventures into sector, Williams still gets nervous when she goes on a mission because she knows it's her responsibility to keep everyone safe.
"If I don't see an IED or call it and it hits another vehicle, I would feel responsible," she said.
If her eye catches even the smallest thing that seems suspicious, she calls down to her noncommissioned officers, because it may be something serious. With the
abundance of litter and debris lining the sides of the roads