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I read Stars and Stripes every day and also hold discussions and I have yet to hear one debatable reason as to why "don’t ask, don’t tell" should not be repealed.

Some don’t understand that serving openly doesn’t mean telling everyone you are gay or who you are sleeping with. It means soldiers will not live double lives; they will be more open to co-workers and not feel withdrawn.

I am waiting to hear a reason not involving the Bible, showers or "it’s just wrong." What is wrong is having a soldier fighting for something they can’t have for themselves: freedom.

People automatically think "gay" equals "sex," when there is much more to a gay soldier’s lifestyle than sex. What it comes down to is ignorance and people’s insecurities.

Everyone is uncomfortable with communal showers. If someone feels he or she should get a single room because of a gay roommate, I should get a single room because of a Republican roommate.

Gays are already serving in the military. "Don’t ask, don’t tell" is discriminatory and outdated. It has served its purpose and now we must move forward.

Leaders should watch what they say in front of their soldiers, because you never know whether that servicemember who hears you is gay.

Advocating against the repeal of "don’t ask, don’t tell" is the same as advocating for segregation, discrimination and oppression. Blacks fought, women fought and the military is still strong. Things can only go up from here.

And yes, now is the right time. We cannot procrastinate on helping all soldiers live life fully. After all, all are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, right? Or does that just apply to you?

Spc. Vaughn RushForward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq


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