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Retired Female Air Force Pilot Praises Decision on Combat

A retired U.S. Air Force pilot from Mineral Wells is praising the military's decision to lift the ban on women in combat.
"What an exciting day for women in the military," retired Col. Kimberly Olson said. "I couldn't be more proud of our nation."
Olson helped pave the way for women in the military, flying more than 4,000 hours in places such as Iraq and Bosnia.

"Women have been involved in this arena for a long time," she said. "And combat knows no gender."
Women make up about 15 percent of active military members but until now, they've officially been barred from direct combat roles.
In practice, Olson said, women have already been there and done that.

"Women have been in combat, I would argue, for the last decade since we've been on two fronts -- in Iraq and Afghanistan," Olson said. "The area of operation is where combat occurs."

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