Dallas, Luzerne County- Susan Allen of Dallas can relate with the over 200,000 females currently serving in the US military. Allen, a Lt. Commander in the Navy was one of the first women to fly a combat aircraft back in 1993 when rules were changed in the Navy.
"20 years ago the same thing was happening the same public interest and media interest and I was on the receiving end of the opportunity to go fly p3's which I did."
This week - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ended the 19 year ban on women serving in combat... The move could open 237 thousand jobs...
Back in the 90's Allen was interviewed when President Bill Clinton lifted restrictions on woman flying combat planes. Around the same time women were allowed to serve on US battleships and in 2010 - submarines.
"By opening this up it allowed us all women in the military to go into jobs that we could not do so we could be an even footing to take the roles of leadership " said Allen
Allen says - women are already in combat in fact 150 have died and nearly a thousand wounded in iraq and afghanistan. She says this is more of a formality but jobs - like navy seals and army rangers would remain closed... Some have argued the standards in many positions are too tough for women - but Allen says they shouldn't be changed just to meet a quota.
"We're allowing everyone the opportunity to serve men if they cant meet those standards are not allowed to serve in those positions and the same thing should go for the women."
Allen says it will take some time - but soon people won't think twice about seeing a woman on the front lines.
"It's going to make a lot of news the first women who died in a combat role we're going to hear about it but I honestly believe that 20 years from now this is going to be a non-issue and it's going to be accepted the way women flying aircraft is accepted."