U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement today to announce his support for Secretary Panetta's decision to end the ban on women serving in combat:
"I am proud of all of our service members - both men and women. Women have fought bravely in combat, and should have the same opportunities as men. I have a woman combat veteran on my senior staff, and her contributions and perspective are invaluable to my work on the Armed Services Committee. I look forward to talking to Department of Defense leaders and troops as this ban is lifted. And personally, I know plenty of ladies in West Virginia who shoot straight."