The news is full of Brittany Spears and Pamela Anderson. Yet how many have heard about the heroism of a young lady helicopter pilot who just received the Distinguished Flying Cross?

According to the news release:

“Back in March in Iraq , Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill, with the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, was piloting her Kiowa Warrior when the lead chopper came under heavy fire. She drew the fire away, simultaneously providing suppressive fire for the troops engaged with the enemy on the ground.

A rocket-propelled grenade hit her, damaging the helo’s instrumentation, but instead of focusing on her predicament, she established communication with the ground forces and continued to provide them with aerial weapon support until the soldiers reached safety…

For her actions she was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by Vice President Richard Cheney at Fort Campbell , Ky. , on Oct. 16.”Yes, sounds like quite a heroine. A good role model for our daughters. A woman pilot risking her life to save her fello soldiers. But where is the story in our newspapers? Indeed, I even “googled” her name in the news section and could not find an article outside of the blogosphere.
I am an old fashioned feminist (i.e. I became a doctor before feminism, and I like men). My mother was a mechanic in World War II, and I grew up hearing stories about Rosie the Riveter and my mother’s best friend who drove trucks with the WACS in Europe, and about the WASPS, women who risked their lives piloting aircraft across the ocean to Europe. Indeed, it was partly because of knowing the contributions of heroic women in the armed services that I served as a doc in the National Guard when I was younger.

As late as ten years ago, we could see Meg Ryan and Demi Moore portrayed as heroic women willing and able to serve their country in war and peace.

Yet now, when women prove their heroism in real wars, the story is ignored even by the newspapers.

And that says a lot about both our media culture of celebrity and our media bias against the war.

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