The award-winning 2008 documentary “Lioness,” which follows five women soldiers who served a year in Iraq, will be shown in the lecture halls at Rappahannock Community College’s Glenns Campus on November 15, and at the Warsaw Campus on November 16. The 82-minute screenings will begin at 7 p.m. on both dates. RCC’s dean of technology, Dr. Virginia Jones, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force, will speak after the film.
As women were not allowed in combat during the period discussed in the documentary, “Team Lioness,” as the five called themselves, were given only temporary assignments to combat units; their purpose was to defuse cultural sensitivities by providing an acceptable “buffer zone” between male American soldiers and Muslim women civilians. The realities of war caused these women to become involved in some of the bloodiest insurgencies in Iraq. However, since they were not permanent members of their units, no record of their combat service was kept. While the men beside whom they served gained credit for combat experience and received Veterans’ Administration benefits designated for combat veterans, Team Lioness went unrecognized.
In addition to exposing the differences between regulations and reality on the front lines, the film covers the three years during which Team Lioness fought for recognition, and helped influence a change in military policy. As a result, women are now allowed to serve in combat units, and to receive recognition for their service. But as the film explains, they must still struggle to be recognized and accepted.
For more information about “Lioness,” please call RCC student activities specialist Charlene Talcott at 804-333-6734.