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Allowing Women to Serve in Combat

Allowing Women to Serve in Combat

A longstanding ban on women serving in combat is expected to be lifted. They've been prohibited in ground combat units since 1994. Senior defense officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will take action Thursday that will reverse the ban.

"During this campaign we have had women who have died and women who have been prisoners of war. They've been in a war zone and they are serving our country in a war zone," said David Marrero, a U.S. veteran.

David Marrero says there shouldn't be any gender barriers for women in the military. He argues they're already in harms way and should be entitled to the same high-ranking positions available to men. But his wife, Patricia, disagrees.

"It's a lot of hardship on a woman being on the front lines, competing and maintaining their competition with men," Patricia said.

Their daughter is in the Army, stationed in Virginia. If she chose to serve on the front lines, Patricia says she would discourage her daughter but ultimately support her.

"I've always raised my daughter that she can do anything that she put her mind to," David said.

ABC News reports these changes could start going into effect as early as May.

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