When I read the Nov. 9 letter “Commentary leans to the right,” I had to laugh out loud. In my opinion, Stars and Stripes’ editorial staff has manifested in our beloved rag a distinct liberal slant for years on end, highlighting leftist commentary and apparently marching in lockstep with the liberal mainstream media.

I’d finally had enough; I decided to shun Stars and Stripes — an institution that I was introduced to me more than 30 years ago as a young Marine — because of what I felt was this blatant bias. Only recently had I discovered that the paper finally started listening to its readership by establishing a more centrist editorial posture.

It’s evident — much to the letter writer’s disdain — that conservatives hold the political high ground for the moment, and Stars and Stripes will no doubt be following the trend. While not every “right-winger” is enamored with Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck or the Fox News Channel, I commend Stars and Stripes for giving conservative personalities and their agenda equal time.

Lawrence Malcolm

Contingency Operating Base Delta, Iraq

There are already gay GIs

The argument against allowing gay servicemembers to serve openly made by the author of the Nov. 9 letter “See GIs’ practical concerns” falls slightly short of logic. The writer fears that, if allowed to serve openly and to use the same showering facilities as he does, gay men would undoubtedly “check out” naked fellow servicemembers — something that would cause the writer extreme discomfort and, therefore, should not be permitted.

Realize that not allowing gays to serve openly does not change the fact they are still gay. The writer admits he “would not expect them to do something irrational in such an environment,” but may I suggest he sport a pair of board shorts, just to be safe? Or better yet, he should stop disguising his blatant prejudices with non-issues. Just some friendly advice, one “100 percent heterosexual” to another.

Ray Conner

Ramstein Air Base, Germany

Shower concerns are all wet

In response to the Nov. 9 letter “See GIs’ practical concerns,” about homosexuality and the letter writer’s fear of showering with gay men: What makes him think he’s not showering with gay men now? It’s not as if “don’t ask, don’t tell” is going to be revoked and the latrine is suddenly going to turn into a Turkish bath.

I am a combat arms officer, and I have spent more time crammed into a 30-man tent in some crazy conditions with soldiers I know, for a fact, were homosexual. Here’s the thing, they were soldiers! They did their jobs, they were professional, and they were members of my team. (You know, the whole Army Values thing?)

The letter makes me wonder: If this was 50 years ago, would the writer be saying the same things about the integration of black soldiers? Did they need separate facilities? Only when they were forced to off base with washrooms labeled “whites only.”

Capt. Robert Ritz


Rally to show photo of champs

As a proud parent of an athlete on Vilseck American High School’s 2010 Division I European Volleyball Championship team, I am disappointed in the difference between the 2009 Stars and Stripes article and photo for then-champion Ramstein and the 2010 article and no photo for Vilseck. Whether you are from a major community or a sleepy little farm town, a champion is a champion and the Lady Falcons of Vilseck earned the title and deserve the respect to which they are entitled.

Sgt. 1st Class Roger Muzzy III

Vilseck, Germany

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