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When African-Americans were integrated into our military there was a lot of opposition. Many arguments were raised on political, practical, religious, cultural grounds. But it happened anyway, if slowly.

When women were [allowed to join the military], there was a lot of opposition. Arguments were based on harassment, distraction, division within the ranks and others. But it happened anyway.

When devastation strikes our world, such as the earthquake in Haiti, we help.

Servicemembers who have been on long deployments are asked to leave their families. And in all reality our ability to defend our own country is weakened by their absence. But the rest of us are willing to step up, bear more weight to make up for it. Because it’s the right thing to do.

The forefathers who created our secular government based on a living constitution declared their intent with the words “that all men are created equal.” And those same men penned the phrase “a wall of separation” between church and state. As our country matured we made amendments to ensure equal protection is granted to all citizens. And freedom is more than doing what you want; it’s worthless unless it means that people you don’t like are free to make choices you disagree with.

Homosexual servicemembers already take showers with us, share tents, rooms, firing positions, and they are our leaders and soldiers. But they are not treated the same; their freedom is more restricted. Freedom of speech is limited, as is their freedom of expression. Pursuit of happiness is outlawed in a way we take for granted, to love who and how we wish. It may be easier to continue discriminating against homosexuals, but we’re not a military that always chooses easy or practical, or the path of least resistance. We do what is right.

Staff Sgt. Sage H. ChittockJoint Base Balad, Iraq

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