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It bothers me greatly that there is so much negativity about people with a bad past serving in the military.

A waiver is issued to allow [some people with bad pasts] to serve. I know everyone makes mistakes and everyone asks for another chance. Many times people do not get a second chance until Uncle Sam decides to give it to them.

I ask simply this: Evaluate individuals for whom they are now, not what they were then. Sometimes people change for the better. Just because someone didn’t get caught doing something wrong does not make that person better [than the person who did get caught]. Please have a little more compassion for those who didn’t make good choices the first time. They learn just like you do.

I know a few and, based on their performance during my first tour, I was proud to serve with them. They never wavered when fire came down. They stayed their ground and fought the enemy. If that’s not a soldier, then we’re all in trouble.

Spc. Joseph E. PriceCamp Phoenix, Afghanistan

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