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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard women deploy

When Racheal Oliveira joined the National Guard three years ago, she went through basic training as one of just a few women Dealing with drill sergeants, she says, wasn't always easy, especially without other women to support her

"In some cases you're the only female with all these men," Oliveira said "It's tough because you have to be a strong female to deal with that"

But just days before her first deployment, she says the military has given her both strength and self esteem She likes it so much, she's now convinced her 17-year-old sister to enlist, even though she's still in high school

"I hadn't really even considered the military until she started joining it," Clarissa Oliveira said "I thought it would be fun so I went to check it out and I joined, and I like it a lot"

So do dozens of other Minnesota women In Racheal's battalion alone, nearly one in four Soldiers are female, though most say gender is not an issue Working with men, and doing the same jobs they do, has largely erased any barriers

"I didn't feel a difference at all," Sgt Amanda Kasten said "They treated me as one of their own It was just a big team"

A team that's leaving for a year in just days for its first tour in Iraq, and one that female Soldiers expect will be difficult for everyone But as more women join the military, and deploy with it, they hope their lead will help others follow

"It's a tough job," Racheal Oliveira said "But I want to show other female Soldiers that they can do it"

By Janel Klein, KARE 11 News
April 10, 2007
Source: www.kare11.com

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Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
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Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
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