An Arizona official was fired Wednesday after suggesting that menstrual cycles could inhibit women from serving in combat. Joey Strickland, the director of the state’s Veterans’ Services Department, also resigned over the hiring of the former lawmaker.
“I understand that women want to be on the front lines, and they want to do their service and women are very strong. We’ve really come far through the years. We’re extremely strong,” former state Rep. Terri Proud told the Arizona Sonora News Service.
But she added that, “Women have certain things during the month I’m not sure they should be out there dealing with. I don’t know how to address that topic in a very diplomatic manner.”
Proud had been hired by Strickland to coordinate a female veterans’ conference, despite being given instructions by Gov. Jan Brewer’s office not to do so.
Proud has accused the Arizona Sonora News Service of misrepresenting her actual comments. In a statement, she said she was not opposed to women serving in combat. Proud claimed to have only questioned how the military would accommodate female soldiers.
“Regardless of the reason, the result devastated the life of Col. Joey Strickland who did not deserve such careless treatment,” Proud said. “The Governor’s office should check facts before drawing conclusions.”
The Pentagon lifted a ban on women serving in combat roles last year, opening up an additional 230,000 jobs in the Army and Marine Corps to female troops.