It will require a change in military culture, Yoke said.
"I don't want to say [the military is] chauvinistic but it might take 20 years for this to happen and the culture to change," she said.
As a woman among male soldiers, she had mixed experiences, she said.
She earned respect from some by being good at her job. Others sexually harassed her, she said. Sometimes men were hesitant to associate with her for fear something they said could be taken a wrong way, Yoke said.
"I just think that just because the ban was lifted doesn't mean there will be overnight changes," Yoke said. "Something this broad, it's going to be a challenge. There's a lot of attitudes that are going to be challenged. I understand both sides of it too. I just think it's really important for this to happen though."
Others, like Capt. Rechelle Hall of Teays Valley, say there are probably more disadvantages than advantages to allowing women in combat roles.
She fears that the standards will be lowered for women.
"Sometimes even though they say they're not lowering the standards, they sometimes do," Hall said. "And too, it's more issues than just the strength or the mental stamina. You're living with males and females in a high-level stress situation.
"Sometimes it's not a great idea."
Hall isn't the first to voice the opinion that men and women being in close contact while on special missions could add undue stress.
First Lt. Courtney Pierson, 15-year member of the West Virginia National Guard, doesn't think that would be a problem.
She hasn't served in Afghanistan or Iraq, but at times has been the only female while training for a mission in the United States.
"If you make it an issue, it will be an issue," Pierson said.... "If you can't work together and the mission isn't your focus, it's not going to work out real well."
Hall, who was part of a medical unit in Afghanistan, argued that allowing women into the new roles should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Among her concerns is safety, she said.
"If there's someone having to look out for you instead of doing their job, then yeah, that's an issue," Hall said. "Usually males try to look out for the females. I know that sounds chauvinistic, but it is what it is."
The Associated Press also contributed to this story. Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.