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This is in response to "General rebuked for letter opposing repeal" (article, March 26) on Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon being rebuked for speaking on behalf of many voices in relation to the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy that otherwise might have never get a chance to be heard. My hat’s off to him!

It is very rare nowadays to see a military leader at that level publicly speaking his mind in spite of possible repercussions. Our military, as I have witnessed during the past 20 years, has become a place in which people’s progress is solely based on their political skills instead of their soldiering attributes.

Many of our so-called leaders who try to behave like congressmen are considered great, instead of the ones who choose to place the welfare of their troops above the politics. This is very unfortunate but, in a way, it has become the only choice leaders are left with: Play politics or turn in your resignation.

The discipline and morale of our ranks are being significantly hindered by this trend, and is not going to get any better as along as the bureaucracy of Washington continues to push us to function as it does.

I just want to thank Mixon for being a leader who is not afraid to lead and, most importantly, not afraid to speak up on behalf of our relatively insignificant voices.

Master Sgt. Eduardo CalzadaCamp Liberty, Iraq

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