MAYPORT, Fla.-- It's the news that changes the face of American combat.
"Never underestimate the power of a woman," Bobbie Maddox said.
The River City and surrounding areas are home to thousands of active service members and veterans. Almost everyone we spoke with says it's about time women join the front lines.
They can shoot a rifle just like a man can or take care of themselves just like anybody else can, I have no disagreements with it. I think it's a good thing," Thomas Bendergrass said.
"If they're willing to do it, then more freedom to them," Darlene Vandlingham said.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says women have become integral to the military's success and have shown they are willing to fight and die alongside their male counterparts.
The historic change, which was recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.
Bendergrass says no matter who's out front he'll continue to represent the red, white and blue.
"I'm a U.S. citizen and I'm very proud of it," he said.