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Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum an American Hero and a True American Patriot


Manwon Lender
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GULF WAR - OPERATION DESERT STORM - 27 FEBRUARY 1991

As a flight surgeon with the 229th Attack Helicopter Regiment, then-Major Cornum was aboard a Black Hawk helicopter on a search and rescue mission, looking for a downed F-16 pilot, during the Gulf War. When the helicopter was shot down on February 27, 1991, she suffered two broken arms, a broken finger, a gunshot wound in the back, and other injuries. After regaining consciousness, she said her first thought was "Nobody's ever died from pain!

Cornum was captured, made a prisoner of war (POW), and sexually assaulted by one of her Iraqi captors.[8] She was first taken to Basra and then held prisoner for a week in Baghdad and released on March 5, 1991.[3] In addition, she was subjected, with other prisoners, to a mock execution.[7] Nevertheless, when she was the senior-ranking prisoner, she took responsibility for other POWs. She later co-wrote a book about her experiences, She Went to War: The Rhonda Cornum Story.

In an interview with the New York Times, Cornum said the sexual assault "ranks as unpleasant; that's all it ranks ... everyone's made such a big deal about this indecent assault, but the only thing that makes it indecent is that it was non-consensual. I asked myself, 'Is it going to prevent me from getting out of here? Is there a risk of death attached to it? Is it permanently disabling? Is it permanently disfiguring? Lastly, is it excruciating?' If it doesn't fit one of those five categories, then it isn't important.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhonda_Cornum

After Her Release from Captivity 5 March 1991

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With Her Daughter after her return to the US.

73154BEA-B643-4D94-812E-BCE2557FB558-13664-00000B7B1C677534.jpg.40a2d13309c382fd67f8891d5078e541.jpg

 

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her remarks about assault, wow. I could never be that forgiving had I ever been a victim, and I really don't think anyone should be that forgiving. that's sad, it's like she accepted it as being a hostage and POW, like it was inevitable. and from my understanding, men aren't exactly exempt, either, as it's not about sexual attraction, it's about control...

really sad stuff... 

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2 hours ago, HandsomeGorilla said:

her remarks about assault, wow. I could never be that forgiving had I ever been a victim, and I really don't think anyone should be that forgiving. that's sad, it's like she accepted it as being a hostage and POW, like it was inevitable. and from my understanding, men aren't exactly exempt, either, as it's not about sexual attraction, it's about control...

really sad stuff... 

She classified it in the way that helped her to deal with it and put it into perspective considering the other things that were going on.  When they do mock executions they don't tell you they're not going to chop your head off, you believe you are going to die.  Also being the ranking officer she had to take responsibility for all the people under her command.  Compartmentalizing rape was probably the healthiest thing she could do under the circumstances.

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4 hours ago, OverSword said:

She classified it in the way that helped her to deal with it and put it into perspective considering the other things that were going on.  When they do mock executions they don't tell you they're not going to chop your head off, you believe you are going to die.  Also being the ranking officer she had to take responsibility for all the people under her command.  Compartmentalizing rape was probably the healthiest thing she could do under the circumstances.

I have read here book, and the title I used to describe her is very accurate according to that and other things I read about over the years, she is an America Hero and a true American Patriot in every sense of the work. When they taked about mock executions some lined up against wall and the Iraqis pretended to carry out a firing squad, others were told they were going to die and they pressed a pistol against their heads and pulled the trigger. 

You know I thought there would be more discussion in this thread, it's kind of sad few Care Enough to write a comment.

Thanks for your comments!:tu:

 

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7 hours ago, HandsomeGorilla said:

her remarks about assault, wow. I could never be that forgiving had I ever been a victim, and I really don't think anyone should be that forgiving. that's sad, it's like she accepted it as being a hostage and POW, like it was inevitable. and from my understanding, men aren't exactly exempt, either, as it's not about sexual attraction, it's about control...

really sad stuff... 

The Gulf War was the first major conflict where Female Soldiers actually were allowed to perform in there duties during combat in the actual combat Zone. I joined the US Miltary in 1978 and retired in 2003, so I watched the progression leading up to this conflict. Now Female soldiers were not required to participate in the ground invasion during Desert Storm, but none I ever heard of  refused to do their duties and I make this statement with pride because I was also there before, during and after the conflict so I am not talking out my back side. I have always believed that Female Soldiers were totally equal to their male counter parts in every respect except physical strength in some cases and this conflict vindicated what I already knew.

The day her Blackhawk went down I was within 20 kilometers of its position, and trust me everything thing that could be done was done to try and reach that position, but it was an area still in enemy hands. It's common knowledge what will happen to a Female POW, and she was aware of it before she got on that aircraft to attempt a rescue of downed American Pilot. In the respect of the role Female Soldiers in the US Military, this conflict changed things and those changes were obvious during Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia ( Blackhawk Down ), the Invasion of Afghanistan, and subsequent invasion of Iraq many years later. 

Let me say this, the Female Soldiers in the Military Forces of the United States are as well trained and just as able to accomplish their mission as their male counter parts, and they are also as brave and Patriotic as them too.

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it very much this soldier deserves all the recognition she has and will continue to every receive. :tu:

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An amazing heroine. What more can be said? God give her peace...

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2 hours ago, Gummug said:

An amazing heroine. What more can be said? God give her peace...

Thank you for your response. I was about 20 kilometers from her aircraft when trust when it occurred everything that could have been done was done to reach that location. But, to honest Gummug all the female soldiers deserve recognition becuase it's over looked, today everyone just sees a uniform and the title US Military. I can honestly say that during my 23 years in the Army and the additional time I spent working as a Government Contractor the female equal thier male counterparts in all areas except for physical strength in some cases. 

Thanks

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44 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

Thank you for your response. I was about 20 kilometers from her aircraft when trust when it occurred everything that could have been done was done to reach that location. But, to honest Gummug all the female soldiers deserve recognition becuase it's over looked, today everyone just sees a uniform and the title US Military. I can honestly say that during my 23 years in the Army and the additional time I spent working as a Government Contractor the female equal thier male counterparts in all areas except for physical strength in some cases. 

Thanks

You're welcome. Yep makes me think of that female general in the Bible, her name was Deborah iirc. Tbh I think women are better shooters too because they have finer muscle coordination I've heard and their courage can be right up there with the men...

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13 minutes ago, Gummug said:

You're welcome. Yep makes me think of that female general in the Bible, her name was Deborah iirc. Tbh I think women are better shooters too because they have finer muscle coordination I've heard and their courage can be right up there with the men...

What I bolded above is certainly true, and I seen it with my own eyes. During the Battle of Mogadishu ( Blackhawk Down ) I was located at the Corp  Headquarters in the city when the actual battle began and we came under attack. I was at a perimeter firing point, most of the fire on our position was small arms fire ( AK-47 and AKM ) and then they start hitting us with RPGs ( Rocket Propelled grenade ). Well there was a lot of fire coming at us from different directions, all of sudden I get knocked on my ass and something is on top of me. Then an RPG explodes very close to our position, so I start to get up here is a 130 lb Soldier, her name was Specialist Cathy McNary offering me hand to get up.  That soldier very likely prevented me from serious injury, I thanked her and she went back to firing from our perimeter. 

So my friend I understand the courage and bravery that our soldiers prove they have day after day. Cathy was later awarded a Bronze Star for her actions that day, and not for just saving my ass. So yes I agree that when it come to courage and bravery our soldiers male or female prove they have what it takes.

Peace 

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Great story and a very great person.

You also remind me.  There was a Roman account I read of duty on Hadrian's wall.  A Roman chronicler was describing the Picts as wild and savage fighters.   The story goes that when the women came out to fight alongside the men, the battle became really desperate.  The Romans liked to stay south of the wall  when they could.

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