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Memorial Day Service Sheds Light On The Gains and Pains Of Female Soldiers

By Bob Kasarda
The Times, Munster, Ind.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) On this memorial day, several Indiana residents and leaders reflect on the current status of women in the military.

MERRILLVILLE

Ursula Brboric said it was important to her to attend Sunday’s Memorial Day program in the veterans section of Calumet Park Cemetery with her three children and mother.

The Crown Point resident said her father, Vietnam veteran Joseph Setlak, is buried just a short distance away from the program site.

“I just try to remember what my dad went through in the military and Vietnam,” she said.

But the speeches, music and the 21-gun aerial salute were even more personal for Brboric because she had spent 21 years serving in the Air Force reserve and guard.

It was people like Brboric that U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, had in mind when he told the group Sunday the number of females in the military has jumped from 1.6% in 1973 to 16.3% today.

Yet the number of sexual assaults in the military was up 38% from 2016 to 2018, he said.

“That is not treating another human being correctly,” Visclosky said.

Visclosky, who serves as chairman of the defense appropriations committee, said the country has failed its service people in other ways as well, citing the need for a seamless transition of medical records from active military to veteran’s services.

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