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Regarding the March 26 letter “Army holding up end of ban”: While I applaud the letter writer’s service to our country, I would say he shouldn’t be “embarrassed, because this (Army holding up end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’) reflects badly on the senior leadership of the Army.”

I have no opinion on homosexuals opening serving in the military, I only execute on the guidance that my senior leaders provide me. My point is that there should not have been a timeline placed on the implementation of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to begin with. I ask that we (senior leaders included) sit back and look at what’s really important and set a priority list before we set a timeline on a particular issue.

Surely, in time “repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ” will happen, but I am surprised to hear that some of our present/past leaders (civilians and soldiers) are so consumed with the timeline. As a leader (which I am sure, most would agree) I am more concerned about our daily training/operations/safety of our soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and every other corner of the globe than with the “repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ ” It is obvious that we have more serious operational and leadership issues to deal with than to address this right now. To make (but not dwell) on this point, the same Stars and Stripes issue that printed “Army holding up end of ban” also printed articles on the relief of a brigade commander, the replacement of a 4-star billet with a 3-star (because of cost-saving initiatives), and the revising of the Army’s promotion point system for noncommissioned officers.

Right now as I sit in Afghanistan, I am hoping that briefings on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” aren’t taking priority over any of the above mentioned agenda issues.

First Sgt. Jerome Chestnut

Kandahar, Afghanistan

Grateful for organized effort

My family was just one of the multitude of dependants who were evacuated from Yokota Air Base, Japan. We left on March 24. I want to say thank you to the many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, as well as the people from such organizations as the United Service Organizations, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Delta Airlines, U.S. Customs and Transportation Security Administration that made our journey a safe and expeditious one.

If I left anyone out, it is not intentional. Many thanks to all for the help and support. The best of America stepped forward again.

Bill Loveday

Fort Myers, Fla.


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