I am writing in reference to the standards of the chow halls on Victory Base Camp, Iraq. Recently I was turned away from the chow hall when I walked from my containerized housing unit (CHU) living area. (This walk is about half a mile from the chow hall.) They tell you upon entering that you can’t eat because you have sweat on your shirt.

I have one question: How do they expect people to live in a desert environment and not sweat? We all do not have vehicles to drive around post and the buses on VBC do not have air conditioning in them.

Some of my fellow soldiers have been turned away after we have come off of mission at 2230 hours and just want to grab some chow before going to bed. It is a shame when a hard-working American soldier is turned away because he sweats a little. I understand the rule that is in place applies to people who go to the chow hall right after the gym and have completely soaked their shirts, but [why does it negatively affect those of us] who have a couple of drops of sweat on our shirts?

Spc. David Lassiter

Victory Base Camp, Iraq

Back all mission-ready troops

I hope you can stand another letter regarding gays in the military.

This high-level “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy discussion is starting to make my eyes water. Honestly, don’t we have more important things to focus on? For example: Iraq, Afghanistan, soldier suicides.

In the entire time that I have been associated with the Army (40 years this month), it never occurred to me to “ask anyone.” I am quite sure that I served with gays. I have no idea who. Quite frankly, I didn’t care to know then, and I don’t care to know now.

It seems to me there were, are and will be gays in the military. Who cares? I don’t! (Dare I suggest the only ones who do care are those with an “agenda”?) Obviously, we can’t have any conduct that is prejudicial to good order, military bearing and accomplishment of our mission.

I do not agree with the lifestyle. It does seem to go against nature. Having said that, the bottom line for me is: Does that soldier accomplish the mission? If so, let him or her soldier on.

Sgt. 1st Class Thomas K. Lee (retired)

Vidor, Texas

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