Bruce Ackerman and Jennifer Nou are way off base in their July 18 column “Texas is camouflaging poll tax as voter ID.” What is wrong with having some proof of who you are in order to vote? Without proper identification, anyone can vote over and over, place to place. Even the dead can come alive to vote. If I walk up to a voting location and say I am Paul Smith, prove I am not. Then I can go to another location as Paul Jones. All people do is look and see who died recently.

Honest Americans will gladly stand and prove who they are. States issue a driver’s license or a state ID for proof. The state ID is very inexpensive.

The only people who are afraid to obtain a state-issued ID or some federally recognized form of identification are those who are either illegally in the country or performing some illegal acts. The voter ID law is not a tax. It is a safeguard against fraud.

Master Sgt. Aulton H. White II

Kandahar, Afghanistan

Allow alternative to tape test

The current body fat method in the Army is too basic and out of date. There are more accurate options out there and soldiers are being cheated and even kicked out due to incorrect readings.

I have seen the test add up to 15 percent [above the real total] compared to more accurate methods. I’m not implying it should be taken out of the Army, since it is fast and easy. But, much like soldiers have the option to wear military-issue boots or buy their own pair (at their own expense and only if it complies with Army Regulation 670-1), we should have the option to either take the current Army tape test or obtain a certified body fat test from a reputable source at the soldier’s expense. Usually costing between $10 and $20, it is affordable to all ranks and is a right that should be added in.

This policy change would almost guarantee that the Army would see a sharp rise in soldiers coming off the overweight program.

Sgt. Taylor Morgan

Amarillo, Texas

Slippery slope on parade policy

I find it disturbing that the Defense Department altered a long-standing policy regarding use of our uniform at special-interest events such as parades (“Gay troops parade in uniforms,” article, July 23). Allowing homosexual servicemembers to wear their uniforms at an event that is little more than a lightly veiled political event sets a dangerous precedent.

What if organizers of a right-to-life parade urged servicemembers to wear their uniforms in the parade and it garnered a lot of publicity? According to the standard put forth by the DOD, this should qualify as an exemption. I doubt this would ever be approved.

I would urge all special-interest groups to test the limits of this new policy. My guess is that the hypocritical limits to this new policy would soon be found.

Staff Sgt. Donald Nelson

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan

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