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In regard to the Los Angeles Times editorial in the Oct. 11 Stars and Stripes on E-Verify use for ensuring employers do not hire illegal aliens in Alabama (“Why mandate E-Verify when it doesn’t work?”), I must disagree with some of the points the editorial made.

As for E-Verify, I have never used it and cannot comment on its reliability, but I do disagree with the points of how these tough new laws only serve to hurt the farming industry in these states. The argument is that there is nobody taking these jobs. I would say of course not with unemployment benefits continuously being extended, the push for young people to be able to use their parents’ health insurance until 26, etc.

The problem is that people see these jobs as beneath them, even those who are hurting for a job. We’ve seen plenty of young people on Wall Street the last few days protesting that the government “owes” them an education, a job and health insurance. Guess what, guys, a bunch of new jobs opened up down south. Also, this may speed up the automation of the farming industry.

While the news focuses so much on how these laws affect the farming industry, I would be interested to see how it affected the rest of the state through money saved by schools, hospital emergency rooms, or policing. Furthermore, I have nothing against guest workers coming to this nation to work our farms, factories, etc. I simply ask that our sovereignty be respected and if they wish to remain here they do so the legal way.

First Lt. Alexander Humes

Forward Operating Base Bagram, Afghanistan

Blaming gay GIs is upsetting

In response to the Oct. 12 letter “They knew DADT was in place”: Yes, servicemembers who are homosexual joined the military knowing they would have to hide an essential part of who they are in order to serve their country. Every single one of us sacrifices something when we join, yet we do so voluntarily. No one can debate that.

However, people who tell homosexuals to “stop crying and boo-hooing” about how they had to live “secret lives” should think about this: What if after you were deployed and came home, you had issues dealing with combat you needed to talk about? You want to go to a military mental health professional but you don’t because you know if you mention you are homosexual you could lose everything. Think about if you got severely injured, you were flown back home and all you want is to see your significant other. But that person can’t come see you because you’re not allowed to have a significant other in the open; that person isn’t considered family so you can’t have him or her at your side in your time of need.

They couldn’t take care of their significant other the way that heterosexuals could openly. When many of them joined, they probably didn’t think it would affect them to have to hide who they are but found out later on by not having anyone to talk to.

I find it hilarious that the largest groups of people who continue to bring up “don’t ask, don’t tell” are heterosexuals — mostly heterosexual men. I have not heard or read of any homosexuals who keep “crying and boo-hooing.” The only ones who are “crying and boo-hooing” are those who weren’t even affected by the former policy. Maybe those people should “stop with all the boo-hooing and crying” and just move on.

Staff Sgt. Kelly Calder

Fort Meade, Md.

Stripes in 7

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