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I would like to offer my opinion on the stripes.com article “Five US soldiers ignited Quran burning fury, DOD inquiry finds.” It’s really interesting how some people always question why something happens in the military, when it should be “preventable.” What people don’t understand is how much training we have to go through in order to even deploy to a location like this.

Not only do you get cultural training, you also get sexual harassment/assault training, safety training, training in your own military occupational specialty (MOS), training in an MOS that isn’t yours but your command would like you to work, and any additional training as required by the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, and your chain of command. Yes, what the personnel did was wrong, but they should not take the brunt of the blame. If you want soldiers to remember how to treat a Quran, why not add it to the long list of training that is already required of the personnel.

The servicemembers responsible for the burning should not receive anything worse than a letter of reprimand, since we’ve all already been trained on the “handling of religious materials.” Or how about we not give detainees a Quran? They sure as heck don’t deserve one.

It amazes me how the leadership punishes the “wrongdoers” yet they don’t have the moral conviction to tell our commander in chief to demand an apology for the soldiers who have been killed by Afghan National Security Forces [since the Quran burning incident became known].

Officers who work only for their officer evaluation report are no good. In other words, if you’re afraid to lose your job — then don’t do that job and let someone else do it for you.

Sgt. Javier Silva

Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan

Christians beg to differ

Regarding the Feb. 27 front-page analysis “Quran crisis reveals lack of awareness” and the quote it contained from Martine van Bijlert, co-director of the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network (“For [Christians], the Bible is a book and treated as such. For Muslims, destroying the Quran is worse than civilian casualties.”): I don’t know what van Bijlert pretends to know about Christians and the Bible; however, I do not consider (or treat) the Bible as merely a “book” as she states.

The Bible is considered holy and the inspired word of God. It is treated as such. When it is worn or damaged it is reverently burned, as are our colors (perhaps as the Qurans were, but I wasn’t there, so I don’t know). As a Christian, van Bijlert doesn’t speak for me. Thanks and God bless.

Eric Benson

Stafford, Va.

Limbaugh unfit for AFN

Recently Rush Limbaugh called a young college woman a “slut” and demanded that if she wants insurance to pay for her birth control then she should provide “us” with pornographic movies of her having sex. He also said he would purchase her aspirin to put between her knees (so she keeps them closed).

The Department of Defense has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment. How can it keep Rush Limbaugh on American Forces Network radio after such unacceptable statements? If he was in uniform, he would be facing a Uniform Code of Military Justice hearing.

What does it say about all of the work that military sexual assault response coordinators do if AFN will not remove Limbaugh’s show from its programming?

Steven Murray

Camp Walker, South Korea

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