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To supporters of "don’t ask, don’t tell": Take a walk in the gay soldier’s boots.

You read letters in Stars and Stripes that say whom you are as a person is immoral and wrong; for loving that special someone in your life. Are you thinking of them?

You leave your apartment just outside post for work in the morning and kiss your loved one goodbye. Your neighbor saw you and reported this to your chain of command. After a humiliating investigation, you are discharged for whom you are.

Are you thinking of the last time you kissed them goodbye or held them close? That was illegal. This is your reality. You must choose to live alone and celibate ("Gay Rights History Month?" letter, Feb. 1), as one writer suggests (I don’t think so), or live with the specter of losing your job and livelihood for a meaningful relationship that other soldiers enjoy every day.

The next time you walk in the park holding your loved one’s hand, think of the gay soldier who is denied this simple life pleasure.

To the gay soldier: The next time you hold your loved one close, remember you are in violation of Army Regulation 600-20 and should be discharged for this simple, comforting act. Does this anger you? It should.

"Don’t ask, don’t tell" doesn’t fully describe this ban. It destroys lives. It is discrimination. It is an infringement on personal rights (pursuit of happiness anyone?) It needs to stop. Now.

Staff Sgt. Richard HaynesCamp As Sayliyah, Qatar

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