[I am an active-duty soldier currently deployed to Afghanistan. I write this not in my official capacity, but as a reflection of my personal opinion and that of the experiences of a commissioned combat arms, now public affairs, officer.]
I just read “If gays can openly serve, will straights still want to?” (article, Nov. 18) and, as much as I would like to discuss the merits of removing the policy of congressionally mandated bigotry, instead I would like to ask the reporter about his sourcing.
Elaine Donnelly (president of the Center for Military Readiness)? Really? How about an article on the ascendant role of racial and religious minorities in our nation’s military and then featuring a counterpoint by David Duke? Or, a discussion on the merits of gender equality at the flag and general officer level and then a counterpoint by Anita Bryant? Why not? Because Duke and Bryant are widely discredited. And, like Duke and Bryant, Donnelly and the 1,000-plus retired flag and general officers use a very specific, narrow interpretation of their religion as an instrument of law. That Donnelly was at one time given certain access to both servicemembers and Congress — not to mention carte blanche access by similarly minded high-ranking Defense Department officials — is interesting, but irrelevant. She has lost her access, the pulse of this generation of servicemembers, and the perceived gravitas of her one-time position, and the ear of anyone in any position of any real authority.
Her “Center for Military Readiness” is one woman, a computer with access to old data on the Internet, and a swirling vortex of similarly minded [people]. Her opinions, like those of the signatories to the letter by the 1,000-plus retired flag and general officers, clearly place her on the wrong side of history, and the reporter does both the storied history of Stars and Stripes and its readership a disservice by elevating her opinions to appear relevant.
Lt. Col. Todd BreassealeNorth Kabul, Afghanistan