Saturday, December 30, 2006

The bastard is dead

Saddam is dead. Good riddance to piece of human debris. He was a piece of shit. Too bad that Kim Jong Il(sp?) and Castro didn't have the same thing happen to them.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

As sung by TACO

Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz.

Different types who wear a day coat, pants with stripes
and cutaway coat, perfect fits,
Puttin' on the ritz.

Dressed up like a million dollar trouper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)

Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
or "umberellas" in their mitts,
Puttin' on the ritz.

Have you seen the well-to-do up and down Park Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare with their noses in the air
High hats and Arrow collars white spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime for a wonderful time

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz.
Puttin' on the ritz.
Puttin' on the ritz.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Looks like lil saddam is gonna get his just due. GOOD. What a worthless piece of shit dictator he was. I will be so happy and elated when saddam hussein dies.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Well it is Christmas Eve as I am writing this. Today was a beautiful day. Got to sleep in. Don't have to go back to work until Tuesday. I love life. I went to a movie today with Jeff. Have not seen him in a long time! He is doing great. We saw 'The Good Shepherd'. It is about the beginnings of the CIA. As I am typing this, I am wrapping presents. Yes I know I am waiting until the last minute, but I only have 3 to wrap. I have already recieved most of my presents, got TONS of moolah from my pop. Cool. My brother and sister in law got an SUV from my folks, and my folks in turn gave my sister and I money. I am set. I really want nothing else for Christmas. I did buy just a few presents myself. I got my mother some nice wool house slippers. I got my sister( who lives in Arkansas) a gift card( I know I know)and some cologne. I got my brother a compact disc( Office Space) and I got my father a musical disc ( Cafe Berlin) of German Music. My sister's gifts I have mailed to her, and so I did not have to wrap them. Well, I am getting sleepy now.. laters!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Give A Little Bit
Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
Give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my love to you
There's so much that we need to share
Send a smile and show you care

I'll give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my life for you
So give a little bit
Give a little bit of your time to me

See the man with the lonely eyes
Take his hand, you'll be surprised

Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
I'll give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my life for you

Now's the time that we need to share
So find yourself, we're on our way back home

Going home...
Don't you need to feel at home?
Oh yeah, we gotta sing

back to my

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today I am ANGRY, then HAPPY!

Today started off kinda rough. I had one of those days where you sent the payment in on November 30th, you call on December 9th , and the check you wrote to the Company(who shall remain nameless) has cashed. Now, on December 17, Sunday night, said company calls you and asks you if you have mailed your payment in. Yes, I did, back on November 30. 'Well, we have not recieved it, ma'am'. Thats impossible. You check with your bank, and yes it did cash. Now, the company tells you that you must mail them a copy of the check, front and back. So you ask your bank for a copy of the check and you have to pay a thirty dollar processing fee to get a copy of your check. Oh joy. So you do so, grudgingly. They tell you that this will take 6 to 8 weeks to process. Whatever. You feel like hitting someone.Really hard. I just had a thought. Try telling your utility company when the bill comes that you will need to peruse the bill, and you need to get approval from your 'corporate headquarters'(home) and that the check will arrive to them in about 6 to 8 weeks . See what they say after that. Try making THEM wait for a change. Somehow I doubt that they will see any humor in this. Oh yes, be sure to keep them on hold for AT LEAST 15 minutes when ever any of them do call you. Better yet, keep them on hold for at least fifteen minutes while making them have to listen to some sort of crappy music, or some sort of irritating noise. Today did end on a better note, however. I got paid. And then some more money came in. MUCH MUCH more money. Bonus money. Good . Talk about a rollercoaster day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My favourite Christmas song

Rocking around the Christmas Tree
Brenda Lee

Rocking around the Christmas tree
at the Christmas party hop

Mistletoe hung where you can see
every couple tries to stop

Rocking around the Christmas tree,
let the Christmas spirit ring

Later we'll have some pumpkin pie
and we'll do some caroling.

You will get a sentimental
feeling when you hear

Voices singing let's be jolly,
deck the halls with boughs of holly

Rocking around the Christmas tree,
have a happy holiday

Everyone dancing merrily
in the new old-fashioned way.

Wishing you the Happiest
Holidays and New Year

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thanks, Glenn

Maybe next year I can see one of your shows! Greetings From Florida!

What—it’s not 75 and sunny where you are on this December 13th? Oh, that’s a shame—it’s balmy here in the tropics as I wrap up the Tampa stop on my Christmas Tour. Even though I used to live here, it’s still a little strange being here around the holidays…to see a Christmas tree tied to the roof of a car while the people driving it are wearing shorts and t-shirts. But it’s been a great homecoming and a wonderful chance to get a little sun. (Though don’t worry—I’ve not bared my pasty flesh to anyone. The only thing whiter these days than my spindly legs is Santa’s beard.)

And while the weather has been fantastic, I’ve found a place even hotter—the inside of my suit. As it turns out, thick blue velvet may drape beautifully, but it retains heat like an oven. Fortunately, the additional heat thrown off by my new rock star light show only makes the stage slightly warmer than the surface of the sun. But it's not all bad, because I think that I’ve discovered a new weight loss plan—just tour the country encased in a dark, leaden fabric and rant around a stage for a couple of hours a night and…presto! The pounds just melt away!

Truthfully, I can’t even pretend that I’m not enjoying every minute of this tour. Even though I miss my family, it’s thrilling to meet so many fans of the TV and radio programs and spread the message of my Christmas show. People are really responding to the simple notion that this time of year isn’t about food or presents or even the baby in the manger—it’s about the man that baby grew up to become and the way he lived his life. Every performance is inspiring to me, and I believe that the audience feels the same way. If you’re thinking about grabbing up one of the few tickets left for the last few cities where we’ll be stopping, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve talked to people after the show and they’ve told me how they’re reminded of the true meaning of Christmas…they leave filled with a spirit that can’t be found at the mall. As for me, my amazement is renewed each and every night. It’s a glorious show and I’m proud to be able to share in the experience with you.

I hope to see you there. Tonight…get ready Worcester, MA. Oh, it’s on.

Enjoy these days—I pray they’re merry and bright.


PS For more on what it’s like day-to-day on the tour, be sure to check out the blog that’s being updated by my blue velvet suit. He’s pretty insightful for a piece of high-end menswear…

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Feeling much better

Feeling much better this afternoon. Very frustrated cause my car is not fixed yet. I will get it back Monday afternoon, which means that I will have to take a taxi to work early Monday morning, which also means that I will have to leave my pup Heidi at my house Monday morning. She will be totally alone. Poor thing. I will try to get away Mon afternoon to come and get her.

Not feeling well

Yesterday afternoon, I started feeling very nauseous and dizzy. Also dehydrated. So, I am feeling better today, but stayed home from work anyway. I am trying to heal today. My pup is staying with me this weekend. There is little food in the cupboard, and I cannot go to the store because my car is still in the shop, and I am not feeling well enough to go out anyway. So I ordered some pizza delivery. Pizza Hut. My pup loves it , too. I ran out of the purple grape juice I love so much. Diet Pepsi isn't much of a subbstitute, but it will work.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor Day from

Survivors honor Pearl Harbor victims with moment of silence, wreath laying in Hawaii

Associated Press Writer
Pearl Harbor survivor Jack E. Jorgensen, 87, of Olathe, Kan., reminisces Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006, during a gathering of veterans, family and friends at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center in Mission, Kan., marking the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was to be the last observance by the Kansas City Metro Chapter III of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Jorgensen, a former Navy ship fitter, was aboard the U.S.S. Detroit during the attack. (AP PhotoTammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — One by one, aging survivors from ships sunk 65 years ago Thursday in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor laid wreaths under life preserver rings honoring their ships.

Nearly 500 survivors bowed their heads at 7:55 a.m., the minute planes began bombing the harbor in a surprise attack that thrust the United States into World War II.

"America in an instant became the land of the indivisible," said former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, the author of "The Greatest Generation," who spoke at the shoreside ceremonies. "There are so many lessons from that time for our time, none greater than the idea of one nation greater than the sum of its parts."

The veterans, most in Hawaiian aloha shirts, were honored with prolonged applause at the solemn ceremony near where some of the ships remain rusting and moss-covered under the harbor's waters.

Many were treating the gathering as their last, uncertain if they would be alive or healthy enough to travel to Hawaii for the next big memorial ceremony, the 70th anniversary.

Flanked by two conch blowers, the Rev. Kahu Kauila Clark bows his head in a Hawaiian prayer at start of the ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Thurs., Dec. 7, 2006 in Honoloulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
"It is because of you and people like you that we have the freedoms we enjoy today," Capt. Taylor Skardon said after relating each ship's story at the end of the ceremony.

A priest gave a Hawaiian blessing and Marines performed a rifle salute.

For many it could be their last return to the World War II attack site.

"Sixty-five years later, there's not too many of us left," said Don Stratton, a seaman 1st class who was aboard the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. "In another five years I'll be 89. The good lord willing, I might be able to make it. If so, I'll probably be here. I might not even be around. Who knows. Only the good Lord knows."

Stratton and other survivors were boarding a boat to the white memorial straddling the sunken hull of the USS Arizona, where they will lay wreaths and lei in honor of the dead.

Pearl Harbor survivor Bob Seeley, right, and his granddaughter, Ashley Seeley, of California, await the start of the ceremony honoring the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Thurs., Dec. 7, 2006 in Honoloulu. Seeley served on the the USS California. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
"We thank those who lost their lives 65 years ago, and we honor the survivors and their families who are with us here today," said Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle.

The Arizona sank in less than nine minutes after a 1,760 pound armor-piercing bomb struck the battleship's deck and hit its ammunition magazine, igniting flames that engulfed the ship.

More people died on the Arizona than any other ship as 1,177 servicemen, or about 80 percent of its crew, perished.

Altogether, the surprise attack killed 2,390 Americans and injured 1,178.

Twelve ships sank and nine vessels were heavily damaged. Over 320 U.S. aircraft were destroyed or heavily damaged by the time the invading planes were done sweeping over military bases from Wheeler Field to Kaneohe Naval Air Station.

Former Japanese Naval pilot Takeshi Maeda signs his autograph for guests at a Pearl Harbor symposium held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, Monday, Dec. 4, 2006, in Honolulu. Maeda was an aviator that saw action at Pearl Harbor as a crew member aboard a torpedo plane that bombed Battleship Row Dec. 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor veterans, historians, survivors and scholars came together to share ideas and remember the events that took place 65 years ago. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Japanese veterans who participated in the attack as navigators and pilots will also pay their respects, offering flowers at the Arizona memorial for the American and Japanese who died.

Japan lost 185 men, mostly on dive-bombers, fighters and midget submarines.

Some Japanese veterans and American survivors have reconciled in the decades since.

Japanese dive bomber pilot Zenji Abe has apologized to American survivors for the sudden attack, ashamed his government failed to deliver a declaration of war in time for the assault.

The Japanese aviators who carried out the attack thought the declaration had already been made by the time they started bombing, Abe has said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights

Monday, December 04, 2006

Emergency Vets

For some reason, I can watch emergency(people) but I have a really hard time watching Emergency Vets. I have a much harder time watching an animal suffer than I do a human being. I have seen the commericals for the ASPCA, and just looking into their eyes just makes me want to cry. Maybe it is because the animal is always innocent. Humans can communicate much better. We have cell phones.Stories like these just strike me in the heart. They are always innocent, the horses, the pups, the kittens , the bears are. Yes, I know that human beings are animals. We can analyze. We We can figure our way out of things. We can yell, scream, and fight back. They can, but not like we can. Ocassionally , the animal wins. Ever hear the story(true) of the goat that killed it's abusive owner? That is poetic justice. Food for thought

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More from

In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. women warriors are taking on high-profile battlefield roles

AP National Writer
Capt. Christine Roney prepares to go on patrol in Bagdad with members of her company in this undated file photo provided by Roney, who served with the Armys 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad and commanded a logistics company that conducted more than 500 missions. (File Photo/Courtesy Christine Roney)
A goodwill mission to deliver kerosene heaters to Iraqi schools erupts into the fiery chaos of a roadside bombing — and Maj. Mary Prophit shields a comrade so he can rescue a critically burned Iraqi soldier.

A convoy outside Baghdad is ambushed by machine-gun wielding Iraqi insurgents — and Spc. Ashley Pullen races down a road to save an injured sergeant.

A Black Hawk helicopter is struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq — and co-pilot Tammy Duckworth, bloody and severely wounded, struggles to stay conscious until the damaged aircraft is down and her crew is safe.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, women warriors are writing a new chapter in military history, serving by the tens of thousands, fending off enemy fire and taking on — and succeeding in — high-profile roles in the battlefield and the skies as never before.

"The American public is beginning to realize that women are playing an equal part in this war and that they are facing the same risks," says Duckworth, who lost both legs in the 2004 insurgent attack. "This is the first time in our nation's history ... when it's normal to see female names as part of the war wounded or those killed in action."

More than 155,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, according to the Pentagon, nearly four times the number during the Persian Gulf War. Females now account for 15 percent of the active duty force.

The number of women casualties — 68 dead and more than 430 injured — represents a tiny fraction of the total. Still, by one estimate, the deaths exceed the number of military women who lost their lives in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War combined.

The public, long accustomed to seeing disabled male veterans and grieving widows clutching folded U.S. flags, has adjusted to a new set of somber images: women soldiers coming home with life-changing injuries and tearful farewells to mothers, wives and daughters.

In just two weeks in September, bombs killed four military women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among them: Sgt. 1st Class Merideth Howard, a 52-year-old former firefighter with a master's degree in marine biology, and 2nd Lt. Emily J.T. Perez, a 23-year-old West Point graduate of the "Class of 9-11" who played the clarinet, spoke fluent German, read the Bible daily and helped start an AIDS ministry at her church.

There is no shared experience that binds together the women of war. Each has a different story, a reason why they're in uniform, an explanation of how their lives have changed.

Some feel pressured to prove themselves as women. Others don't. Some never fire their weapons. Others engage in life-and-death battles. Some are professional soldiers. Others enlist for college money. A few are grandmothers; many more are in their 20s.

Almost all serve anonymously, though a few have captured headlines back home. Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski made news as the highest-ranking officer punished in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Jessica Lynch, the former prisoner of war, rocketed onto the nation's TV screens when she was portrayed as a guns-blazing, all-American heroine — a depiction she herself disavowed.

But Lynch's job — Army supply clerk in a maintenance company — illustrates one of the realities of the war: No place is safe. As the insurgency took hold, that grew even more apparent. Front lines don't exist. Combat troops still face the heaviest losses and while women are mostly in support roles, a mortar or bomb can strike anywhere from a mess hall to a supply convoy.

"My dad has friends who constantly tell him, 'Oh, your daughter's fine in Iraq. She's not in harm's way or she's not involved in combat,'" says Capt. Mary Caruso, who served two tours in Iraq, one as a platoon leader in the 194th Military Police Company.

"I don't think the general public really sees what females are doing over there," she says. "We don't have a linear battlefield anymore. The enemy's everywhere."

Women are barred from units assigned to direct ground combat — the infantry, armor and artillery, for example. While many remain in traditional jobs, such as health care, they've also served as translators and mechanics, commanded police companies and support battalions, flown jet fighters and attack helicopters.

They've been heroes, too.

In the Kentucky National Guard's 617th Military Police Company, Army Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester became the first woman since World War II to win the Silver Star for heroism. After a supply convoy was ambushed, she and others counterattacked, killing more than two dozen insurgents.

Spc. Ashley Pullen, another member of the unit, received a Bronze Star for valor, risking her life to help save a wounded soldier in the same attack. In recommending her for a medal, her company commander praised her "incredible courage."

"We now know women can hold their own, they're brave, they do have the physical and mental stamina to face combat-like situations," says retired Navy Capt. Lory Manning, director of the Women in the Military Project at the Women's Research and Education Institute in Washington, D.C. "We now know that men don't go to pieces and the American public doesn't go to pieces if women are killed. And we know that women, in fact, can defend men."

Manning says that represents a change in perceptions.

"I used to get a lot of guff that women can't do this, that women are weakening the military, women are feminizing the military — that's gone with the wind," she says. "The debate about whether they belong there seems to be over."

Not quite. Though women are widely viewed as essential with the nation's fighting forces stretched thin and they perform jobs off-limits to men for cultural reasons — searching Iraqi females, for instance — the critics have not been silenced.

"Engaging the enemy in this uncivilized thing we call war is a job for men, not women," Kate O'Beirne, a conservative pundit and Washington editor of the National Review, said in a radio interview this spring. She likened it to a man sending his wife or daughter to check out a possible home break-in.

Martin van Creveld, a prominent military historian and Iraq war critic, argues the contribution of females in the conflict has been dramatically exaggerated. "They're not occupying any particularly important positions or fighting in the front ... If there were not a single woman (deployed), the war would be the same," he says.

The Center for Military Readiness, a conservative think tank, contends that the Army has ignored its rules that prevent female soldiers from being in units that "physically collocate and remain with" ground combat troops.

Elaine Donnelly, the center's president, says that creates the potential for romantic involvement, morale problems and physical hazards. A woman, she says, might not be strong enough to rescue a wounded male soldier.

"All these social issues do matter," she says. "Cohesion is what lives depend on. It's all about survival. If you start causing doubts, you make the job more difficult or dangerous for everybody."

Last year, some members of Congress tried to curb the role of women in combat zones, but retreated after running into opposition from the Pentagon and lawmakers from both parties.

Capt. Christine Roney was tangled in the debate in 2004 when she was about to take command of a forward support company that would accompany a combat battalion.

She says she was told several male captains fired off e-mails to members of Congress and the Center for Military Readiness opposing the move. One captain, she says, messaged one of her peers asking: "What are you guys doing sending a female over here?"

When plans changed and a man was chosen to take command, Roney says she was disappointed at first, then reconsidered. "I probably did think having a female would have been disruptive in some sense," she says. "They might think they have to act differently with a woman."

Roney, who ended up commanding a logistics company that conducted more than 500 missions in the streets of Baghdad, thinks gender walls will crumble as more women and men work together.

"Sometimes," she says, "they need to get females in the unit to see they have some of the same abilities, the same competencies as the male soldiers."

Some of that already has happened.

Capt. Tara Stiles was a platoon leader in the 194th Military Police Company supporting the First Marine Expeditionary Force. "At first, they were kind of leery," she says. But after a few weeks "they'd rather have my platoon vs. one of the others led by males. .. They needed their backs covered and we were there. And vice versa."

Stiles' company was commanded by Capt. Terri Dorn, who says she noticed some Marines were uncomfortable dealing with females, but she didn't detect resentment.

"I never felt like someone was trying to tell me we're in the wrong place," she says. "It was, 'Oh my God, what do we do?' ... Really what you're doing is teaching that person how to deal with a female."

Dorn says when men would tell her they'd never had a woman in their unit, she'd reply: "Don't think of them as females. Talk to them as soldiers."

It was advice she, too, found useful. "I wasn't a female," she says. "I was a company commander."

Dorn says some Iraqi military leaders proved a far bigger obstacle. There were those, she says, who refused to shake her hand. "It didn't hinder our conversation," she says. "It didn't hurt my feelings ... I proved myself by not allowing them NOT to speak with me."

For decades there have been questions about men and women bunking in the same quarters and whether they could serve together without distractions. While problems such as sexual harassment and assault remain, some say that gender lines blur when lives are on the line.

"Traditionally, the front is the most sexless place in the world. Behind the lines is where trouble happens," says Joshua Goldstein, a professor emeritus of international relations at American University and author of "War and Gender."

Lt. Col. Cheri Provancha, who commanded a Stryker Brigade Support Battalion in Iraq with 700 soldiers, says she didn't detect a gender gap among her troops.

"It didn't matter if you were male or female," she says. "You're going through the same thing as your buddy. That creates a bond."

Provancha also says she has noticed firsthand how attitudes toward women have changed in her 23 years in the Army.

"In the 1980s when a male soldier walks in the door, the expectation is they are competent. The woman on the other hand, it was 'I've got to see what you have before I give you that level of confidence,'" she says. "Now when I walk in the door, I feel like the guys do."

But other officers say the military is far from having an even playing field.

Janis Karpinski, who was demoted to colonel after the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison, says she was a scapegoat — and she blames many of her problems on being a woman.

When the prison conditions started unraveling, she says, "there was not a good ole boy network to support me. They wouldn't let me in. ... There was not a male commander to say, 'Hey, Janis, you better watch out.' Had I been a man, I would have been aware of it all along."

Karpinski says the military is still regarded by many men in uniform — especially the older ones — as the "last bastion of male dominance and they're very reluctant to give up this turf to women."

And yet, some see progress, partly because younger men are moving up in the ranks along with women.

"Gender integration is not perfect by any stretch, but it's a heck of lot better than it was 30 years ago when women entered the military academy," says Mady Wechsler Segal, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and an expert on the military.

Women have a long history of military service going back to the Revolutionary War, when they sometimes disguised themselves as men to defend their country. Through the many wars, they've been spies and soldiers, nurses and pilots — and prisoners.

Relatively few, however, have fallen from enemy fire. In World War I, for example, nearly 360 servicewomen died, mostly nurses stricken by influenza, according to the Women's Memorial Foundation.

And in World War II, more than 330,000 women served both domestically and abroad, and more than 540 died, mostly from vehicle accidents, air crashes and illness, according to the foundation. Sixteen Army nurses died by enemy fire, the group says.

In the Persian Gulf War, about two-thirds of the 15 women who died lost their lives in non-hostile incidents. (In Iraq and Afghanistan, more than a third of the deaths have been non-combat fatalities.)

After the Gulf War, the Army opened thousands more jobs to women, including piloting attack and scout helicopters.

Maj. Tammy Duckworth — who recently lost a bid for Congress — says when she joined the Illinois Army National Guard, she picked aviation because it was a combat position open to women. "I wanted to be treated equally to the males in my unit ... and I felt part of that was accepting the same kind of risks," she says.

Early on, she says she adapted to being a woman in a man's world. "I tried to be one of the boys, to be tough or tougher," she says. But her attitude changed as she was promoted. "I knew I was a good enough officer on my own and I stopped trying to be extra-macho," she says.

Besides, she adds, some of the guys were already teasing her that she had "ovaries of brass."

But other women say they're mindful of being a minority and feel pressure — some of it self-imposed — to demonstrate their physical strength and their mental toughness so no one thinks they'll crumble when bullets start flying or bombs start exploding.

Alicia Flores says she earned the respect of male comrades in the Army's 92nd Chemical Company by hauling bodies, cleaning up feces, doing everything men did. "I had a lot of guys look up to me and say, 'How could you be out here doing this?' "

Flores says she was determined not to show weakness.

"I saw a lot of guys break down," she says. "Most of the times I did a lot better than they did. ... I wasn't going to break down and cry. Crying wasn't going to get me anywhere. It was just going to get me dirtier."

Aneta Urban stood out as the only women in her Marine police company during training in Camp Pendleton, Calif. She could feel all eyes on her.

"When it's 100 guys and you're the only girl, it's like proving yourself every day," she says. "When you're doing rifle training, close combat training, they're looking at you a lot more closely. They're wondering: Can she do it? Can she handle it? You don't want to be laughed at."

Two years later, when she was deployed, she felt she had measured up.

"They knew they could depend on me," she says. "They knew I could pull my own weight. They knew they could trust me if something happened."

Even so, Urban, a native of Poland who served as translator on a second tour, says she would never complain about "stupid girly issues" such as the lack of bathrooms.

"We were under enough stress as it is ... without worrying about finding a place to go pee," she says.

Some women say hygiene issues, whether it's going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground or not being able to wash your hair for a month, tend to be harder on females than men. Some find creative solutions.

Maj. Mary Prophit, for instance, secured her own shower, trading a Benchmade knife in exchange.

Prophit was part of a four-member Civil Affairs team and one of three women among a task force of 700. If that didn't set her apart, her age did. "I was old enough to be their mother," says the 42-year-old mother of three who is a library assistant in Glenoma, Wash. "I thought it was kind of cool."

Despite two decades in the Army Reserve, Prophit says she felt internal pressures to be a good model. "I knew if I screwed up, someone would say, 'That's why we shouldn't have women in the military,'" she says. "I want to make sure that no one thinks the mission dragged on because I'm there."

In January 2005, Prophit demonstrated her skills when the convoy she was in was attacked by a roadside bomb, ripping into the truck behind her that was carrying Iraqi soldiers.

With ammunition exploding from the blazing truck, Prophit used her body as a shield so a medic could tend to one of the badly burned Iraqis. Later, she laid down fire at a mosque where insurgents were hiding.

Prophit then propped up the critically wounded Iraqi with her body in the tight quarters of the Stryker armored vehicle, placed his head in her lap and tried to keep him conscious as they raced to the hospital.

"My performance was a testament that women can be in combat," she says. But she draws a line. "I definitely don't think women should be in the infantry. It's not because they're not mentally strong enough or physically strong enough. If you mix genders, that alters the dynamic of the group."

After the war ends, the military and Congress will evaluate these kinds of experiences and there will be renewed discussion about what combat is, but any changes will probably be incremental, not dramatic, says Manning, the military expert.

For now, though, she says, "the public accepts that women are in the military, that there are going to be shootings, that they're going to be dying, and that's fine — with most people."

Copyright 2006 The Associated