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Panetta's Decision Welcome News To Longtime Texas Military Officer

DALLAS (CBSDFW/AP) - Colonel Suzanne Adkinson has been serving in the military for over 30 years.  As a member of the Texas Army National Guard, she believes it's time to lift the ban on women serving in combat.

KRLD's Emily Trube spoke with Colonel Suzanne Adkinson

Colonel Suzanne Adkinson

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in announcing he is lifting the ban, said he believes women have become an integral part of the military's ability to succeed. Panetta said that not everyone can meet the qualifications to be a combat soldier. But, he said, everyone is entitled to the chance.  He said the qualifications will not be reduced, and with women playing a broader role, the military will be strengthened.

Colonel Adkinson agrees.

"As long as the standards are the same across the board, it's fair to everybody and everybody gets a fair shot," said Adkinson. "We either can or we can't - it's up to the individual."

President Barack Obama says allowing women to serve in combat marks another step toward the country's founding ideals of fairness and equality.  Obama says he is confident the decision _ coupled with the recent repeal of the ban on gays in the military _ will strengthen the U.S. military.

"Today, every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger, with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love," President Obama said in a written statement.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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