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The Stripes Central post about a planned conference for active-duty gay troops (in May 26 print editions) states that, “Topics … include how foreign military services have adapted.” If foreign military services were so good, we would not be the world’s police force, leading from the front and defending their soil.

The U.S. armed forces are distinct, with a set of values and standards that far exceeds that of our civilian society. The idea that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” will change that is ludicrous.

Respect for one’s sexuality has no place in military life because it does not matter. Sexuality — whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual — is a behavior, not a gender. All behavior in the military should represent good order and discipline.

I’ve spent more than 20 years in military service and I have yet to fill out one form that asked me about my sexuality. The demographics with which the military is concerned are gender, race and marital status. We have many more important things to concern ourselves with than a policy about human sexual behavior.

How about a generation of soldiers who only know “reset, retrain and redeploy”? While it has met the requirements to combat the global war on terror, it has also created a vacuum in the armed forces that has led to contractual waste and a force that cannot sustain itself.

We need to get our priorities straight, leaders of America! When we put on the uniform, we do not represent our sexuality. We represent the American flag and the armed forces of the United States of America!

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert M. Goldsmith

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

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