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March 16, 2009

Reasons to keep don’t ask-don’t tell

To Cheryl Kenter (3/12, Letters), who says the military should drop don’t ask-don’t tell: Maybe the policy is a little more complicated than you thought. Maybe the real concern is the combat soldier who has to huddle with a squad mate to keep from freezing, or live within four feet of a crew member in a tank, or share a weekly shower and open latrine.
And maybe, on top of worrying about instant death, lack of sleep and food, family stresses and the challenges of an incredibly demanding mission, military leaders don’t want to introduce sexual tension to the mix.
Maybe you really don’t know about all this and would rather just go with what your gut tells you is right. It all kind of reminds me of the upper-class, married-with-(non-adopted)- children folks who have all the answers on the abortion issue.
I think we’d all be better off if we did our homework before dictating the way things ought to be.
Bob Fortier
Overland Park

Comments

Pub 17

What about racial tension? What if a military court had to decide whether a bullet came from the enemy or a racist?

whispering_to_kc

"... military leaders don’t want to introduce sexual tension to the mix."

It's too late, sexual tension was already added to the mix and that horse is long since out of the barn. Females have been part of the US military mix since the days of the Continental Army. Gays look just like the rest of us but women are harder to miss.

I think Bob would be better off if he did his homework before dictating the way things ought to be.

churd

I'm sure that since both women and men serve in the military that there are procedures in places to deal with situations of sexual misconduct. So apparently heterosexuals get to be judged solely based on their actions while homosexuals are judged simply because they are gay.

How many people have been discharged for being gay when they did absolutely nothing wrong? How many were discharged not because they told, but because someone found out otherwise. Is it necessary for gays to hide who they are while on and off duty while their heterosexual counterparts can have relationships and families out side of service?

solomon

Bob is a homphobic idiot. Only a homphobic bigot would agree with him. Or renfro.

Pub 17

Renfro, your suggestion that a board of inquiry might have to confront a situation wherein a purported homosexual may have been shot by a fellow soldier in combat says a great deal about you, not the military. Your comment is offensive to professional combat personnel, which you clearly are not, non-psychotic straights, gays, and the human race in general. I suggest you seek treatment for your hostility before you do something stupid.

renfro

Ignoring the ramifications and without experience the “Cheryl Kenters” and her ilk will find little reason to consider Bob Fortier’s opinion. Combat is ordinarily relegated to the younger generation and often forces living conditions to exist that fellow soldiers would be reluctant to share, even with a sibling. Fortier’s observation “maybe, on top of worrying about instant death, lack of sleep and food, family stresses and the challenges of an incredibly demanding mission, military leaders don’t want to introduce sexual tension to the mix” is more than adequate and sensible. The present “ask-don’t tell policy” allows homosexuals to serve if they so desire but discourages social inter-action that could be mis-interpreted by their comrades.
Fortier’s logic is sound, humane and reason enough to avoid change. A less palatable logic for the general public might be --- The increased burden for a military department of forensics to determine death by enemy action or friendly fire?


Pub 17

Exactly, Bob. We should all do our homework.

When you were in combat and huddling with a squad mate to keep from freezing, did you keep glancing at him to see if he was eyeing your batch? When you took a bullet, did it make you feel icky when you noticed just how soft and well-manicured the medic's hands were?

Roob.

Marctnts

"...military leaders don’t want to introduce sexual tension to the mix."

Didn't we do this anyway when we allowed female soldiers in combat zones?

I've yet to hear a convincing argument as to why a homosexual is adequate for service as long as its a "secret", but inadequate when the secret is out. Anyone?

lucius0729

Well Bob, it is clear what you are. And I am not jumping to any conclusions, I would be willing to bet a soldier that is in the heat of battle would not care if the person next to them is gay.

 
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