I have to question the outrage over the United Service Organizations’ decision to tailor care packages toward female servicemembers. I have to question the thought of "gender bias" and "no need for makeup/cosmetics" in a war zone.

I am a female, and I’m pretty sure I’m in Iraq. I’m also pretty sure that "gender bias" has always been, and will always be, around. Which is, shocker, just fine! By noting the strengths and weaknesses that each gender brings to the fight, we are able to exemplify those strengths and minimize those weaknesses.

How does this relate to makeup or female-tailored care packages? I see males all around, playing football and video games in their off time to relax and beat the stress. This isn’t to say that females can’t enjoy the same activities, but for some of us, the chance to pamper ourselves in our off hours is a different way to relax in an atmosphere where the more common pleasures of life must be denied for safety reasons.

And I can’t help but wonder at "Makeup? You’re kidding, right?" (letter, Nov. 24), which equates females who wear cosmetics with sexual promiscuity in a war zone. Here I was with this crazy notion that sex was between two consenting adults, and that makeup, or the use of it, was rarely, if ever, the cause.

So, thanks, USO, for all the care packages you send, no matter who receives them or what is in them.

Spc. Crystal Smith-OgleForward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq

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