Equal opportunity allows women to take on roles which were formerly the preserve of men.
When it reaches the headlines, it’s usually in regard to high paying and – at least from the outside – glamorous positions.
The announcement that one of the three soldier killed in Afghanistan was a woman is a reminder that equality also provides the opportunity to do the dirty and dangerous.
Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker (26), Private Richard Harris (21) and Corporal Luke Tamatea (31). . .
. . . CPL Luke Douglas Tamatea joined the NZ Army in February 2000 and was posted to 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) in Linton. He deployed to Timor-Leste in 2001, to Solomon Islands in 2003 and to Sumatra to help with the Tsunami in 2005. CPL Tamatea had also previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. He was posted to 2/1 RNZIR in 2007. CPL Tamatea was promoted to LCPL in September 2005 and to CPL in June 2008.
LCPL Jacinda Francis Elyse Baker joined the NZ Army as a medic and was posted to Burnham Regional Support Company in April 2007. LCPL Baker was posted to 2/1 RNZIR in December 2007, and deployed to Solomon Islands in 2010. LCPL Baker received a Chief of Army Commendation in 2011 for her professionalism and courage during Exercise Southern Warrior in June 2008. LCPL Baker was promoted to LCPL in July 2008.
PTE Richard Lee Harris joined the NZ Army in February 2009 and was posted to 2/1 RNZIR. PTE Harris had previously deployed to Timor-Leste in 2009/2010.
Their gender makes no difference to the loss. They have all died far too young.
While those of us who didn’t know them can acknowledge the tragedy, the loss and grief are personal for their family, friends and those with whom they served.
saying things likeLife is not fair
& I believed them
for a long time.
the way you laughed
& the heat
of your hand
& I knew that
life is more fair
than we can
we are there to live it