It was very sad to read the Dec. 28 edition of your paper — in particular, the section of The Military Year in Review. Your paper spent four pages highlighting negative issues around the military in which each article had a narrative about it. Then I turn to the other two pages that actually highlighted some of the good actions the military is doing and all you put on those pages were some pictures and captions — no narratives.

I would not have expected the Stars and Stripes to feature so much on negative stories and not take the opportunity to highlight all the positive things that our servicemen and women are accomplishing each and every day. Your choice of the year-in-review articles is extremely disappointing.

Chief Master Sgt. William Cisna

Southwest Asia

Don’t have to like UFC to fight

Regarding the Dec. 22 letter “Vets group too harsh on UFC”: I am a veteran. I am armed, in Afghanistan right now. I am not a fan of Defense Department money going to pay for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Just because the letter writer and his buddies back home all eat, breathe and think alike does not mean they represent “the majority” of anything. Just because others don’t share their love of watching sweaty men tussle does not make them “those who refused to hold a rifle.” I ask the letter writer to save the rage for the field of battle, like the troops out here do.

Staff Sgt. Jason Rife

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan

Generals seek cover on guns

Regarding the Dec. 11 column “Let military question GIs about private guns”: It is the nature of our society to look for scapegoats after tragedy. It is easier to blame the gun lobby for a soldier’s death than the leadership who failed to take the time to get to know the soldier.

What strikes me about this issue is that rather than taking the time to look at themselves and say, “We are failing as leaders. We must endeavor to know our soldiers better and proactively seek solutions,” commanders want easy solutions like computer programs and locking up firearms. How will that help when any soldier intent on harming himself can go to a sporting goods store and have a gun within an hour?

The only thing that changing the rule on firearms will do is punish those of us who own firearms responsibly.

The retired Army generals who wrote the column, Peter W. Chiarelli and Dennis J. Reimer, are being a bit disingenuous when they declare that we should let commanders “ask” if soldiers have firearms. Anyone who has been in the military more than a day knows that the typical knee-jerk reaction of commanders is to go overboard, protecting themselves from any and all potential liability at the expense of soldiers’ rights. Do the generals honestly expect us to believe that the commanders will stop at asking?

If this rule were changed all law-abiding gun owners would have their firearms locked in the arms room, regardless of whether they live on post.

Sgt. Jason Roberts

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan

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