Regarding the Oct. 29 article “Couple biking across U.S. to aid CIA families”: The writer states that “dependents must rely on private donations for their future education. The dependents don’t receive the same benefits as the loved ones of fallen service members.”

Last time I checked, my dependents don’t get any special “education” benefits if I die in combat and the CIA employees have the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, which is the same (or better) than my Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI).

Also, CIA officers make a lot more money than soldiers do.

Any friendly loss of life is a terrible thing, but let’s have some perspective, please.

Sgt. 1st Class Chris Russell

Camp Blackhorse, Afghanistan

Derogatory in eye of beholder

Regarding the Oct. 30 article “Sources: Most troops wouldn’t oppose gays in military”: The writer speaks about a Department of Defense survey that was taken through the year polling military personnel opinions of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allowing openly gay personnel to serve. I understand all that, and we’ve heard all the arguments. The point I’d like to comment on is where the writer wrote that “[g]ay rights groups attacked the … survey ... [because it] repeatedly uses the term ‘homosexual,’ considered to be outdated and derogatory.”

Are we really supposed to not use a term that for the last two centuries has been scientifically and socially correct because some feel it is outdated or derogatory? We call people who engage in theft thieves; people who are addicted to alcohol alcoholics; people who lie liars; people who engage in heterosexuality heterosexuals. These terms are neither outdated nor derogatory, but truthful and, in most cases, they are not applied without careful thought beforehand in a respectful society.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not judging anyone’s personal character or choices, but I fear our nation is becoming more and more of an “anything goes” nation by trying to blend freedom with political activism — as in this situation. God help us!

Senior Master Sgt. Rich Arthur

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

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