Each month, The Oklahoman's editorial board recognizes a contributor to Your Views for a letter to the editor that exemplifies a timely, fair, accurate and cogent viewpoint. Craig Blankenship of Edmond is the honoree for letters that appeared in Your Views last month. His “Females strong enough?” letter was published Feb. 6.
Meet the writer:
Blankenship is originally from Lindsay. Educated as an accountant, he has spent the past 34 years in the energy services sector. He is chief financial officer of Digital Networks, LLC, and is a partner with his two sons. Blankenship and his wife, Tammy, are active in their support of White Fields, a long-term home for abused and neglected boys who are in the permanent custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division. The Blankenship have two sons and six grandchildren.
Regarding the debate about females in the U.S. military fighting in combat: My father was an Army infantry scout in World War II. On Okinawa on April 19, 1945, he was shot in the head by a sniper. Another soldier, a man by the name of Gerald Turley, rushed to my father while under fire. He loaded my father over his shoulder and carried him to safety. Turley was from Ohio and my father kept in touch with him. I heard my father cry only once in my life when he called me a few years ago and all I could make out between sobs was, “Turley died.” If not for Turley, I'm certain I wouldn't be here today. While I'm certain most women would be heroic and come to the aid of a fallen soldier, I'm not sure how many females could physically carry another soldier, by themselves, to safety.