Many of us in the Heidelberg, Germany, community are in shock to hear of the dismissal of Brad Shahan from his coaching duties (“Heidelberg dumps football coach Shahan,” article, Nov. 10, Europe edition). I have known Brad Shahan for many years. He helped mold my son into the man he is today. Brad has helped our student-athletes bring championships to Heidelberg. But more important than championships are the successes he has driven these students to achieve years after leaving the high school playing fields.

I hope Heidelberg Principal KJ Brewer will address the processes and reasoning behind this termination. This appears to be a strange way to reward 15 years of success. How about an open letter to the Heidelberg — and Department of Defense Dependents Schools — community?

Douglas Adkins

Heidelberg, Germany

DADT protects all troops

All of the business surrounding the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy needs a little light put on it. This policy is in place for a good reason. I was there when it was put in place. I remember the circumstances that led to it.

The Democrat who coined the phrase “don’t ask, don’t tell” did it because of the growing number of gay soldiers in the military. These servicemembers were using their sexuality to undermine the order and discipline of the general population of the military. This policy is in place to protect, not hinder, service of both gay and straight servicemembers.

As for the open sexuality, I would be very uncomfortable if I were to have to give relationship advice or counseling, a noncommissioned officer responsibility, to a homosexual. Not that I am homophobic but, because of my religion — and, for that reason, open to Equal Employment Opportunity complaints from the soldier.

Homosexuals are not a race or religion or creed; they are people with a different way of thinking. Our Army has been watered down so much that no one sees this. We lack the personal courage to listen to that NCO with the experience, who was there to watch.

We forget that it is a privilege to serve one’s country, not a right. We dishonor those who put their life on the line to protect those who cannot serve. In closing, I will say this (as most basic trainees here it almost daily): “If you don’t like it, I did not ask you to join my Army!”

Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Sabo

Forward Operating Base Wilson, Afghanistan

Rights unquestionably violated

The author of the Nov. 5 letter “ ‘Don’t ask’ strikes a balance” points out the true misunderstanding people have with the push to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He states that “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t violate any rights, but keeps people from having to live with someone else’s lifestyle. The truth is that it does, in fact, violate the rights of homosexual servicemembers. The pure idea that one may be fired due to sexual orientation is discrimination.

Their sexual orientation has no effect on their performance of duty or their capabilities to serve. If this form of discrimination is allowed, then we should be able to discharge servicemembers for reading Scripture or remove benedictions from unit functions. After all, as an atheist, I do not wish to be subjected to this “lifestyle” someone else has chosen.

Not only is it discrimination in the sense that one may be terminated for being attracted to members of the same sex, but their significant others are not allowed to receive benefits. Medical insurance, GI Bill benefits and every other positive incentive for family living is denied to those who are gay. These are things that we [heterosexuals] take for granted, that we are glad to receive and pass on to our loved ones.

Another right that is violated is the Fourth Amendment, unlawful search and seizure. This includes the searching of a servicemember’s private e-mails from nonmilitary-sponsored accounts to prove they are, in fact, homosexual; such was the case for Maj. Mike Almy, United States Air Force. The truth is there are already gays in the military. The letter writer has served with them since he attended basic training. He should accept it, adapt to it and keep his threats to himself.

Sgt. Patrick R. Quenette

Al-Asad Air Base, Iraq

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