On June 19, Lt. Dawn Halfaker and soldiers from her military police platoon were on a reconnaissance patrol in Baqouba, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded inside their armored Humvee, grievously wounding two of the soldiers inside. Six days later, she lost her arm to a life-threatening infection.
She is one of five American military women at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who have lost limbs from combat injuries in Iraq.
"Women in combat is not really an issue," she says. "It is happening."
Female amputees from the Iraq occupation forces show that this is a woman's war -with already over four times the female casualty rate than from the entire Vietnam conflict.
In the last two years, 35 U.S. women have died and 271 have been wounded.
During Vietnam, a total of eight American women — all nurses — died.