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Your Views: Allowing gays in uniform would weaken America's military
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I would like to respond to recent controversy regarding homosexuals in the military.

Homosexuality is a deviant behavior and such conduct does not belong in the military. By the way, there is no such thing as "don't ask, don't tell." You can read the 1993 Defense Act all day long and you will not find this phrase or a similar phrase. It is the most misrepresented and misreported phrase associated with the military.

Homosexuality is not allowed because of the unique nature of the military. Military life is fundamentally different from civilian life. The military law, customs, traditions and restrictions on personal behavior are much different in the military and are governed by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

For instance, in the military you are on duty 24/7 for your entire period of service. Accountability, high standards of morale, good order, discipline and unit cohesion are required, and homosexuality breaks down these standards.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, has indicated his support for homosexuals. To put a little light on his position, Mullen grew up in Hollywood, Calif. His father was a press agent for the entertainment crowd in that place. Apparently, Mullen is a "Hollywood" sailor and grew up without a moral compass and as such it has influenced his position on this matter. Mullen needs to hang up his uniform and we need a chairman who will stand for the military.

Other former members of the military, in fact more than 1,160 retired flag officers, have personally signed a statement that discontinuing the present policy would break the all-volunteer force. Sen. John McCain, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is opposed to changing the policy. Whether you do or do not like McCain as a senator, his credentials from his naval service cannot be questioned.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, many other military organizations, and thousands of former and retired veterans know that changing the policy will do a great deal of harm to the military services and likewise to our national security. Additionally, there are thousands of military retirees like myself who have counseled many young people regarding military service, and we will stop directing young people in that direction.

The organization with the most information on this subject is the Center for Military Readiness. I'm hoping some readers will go to the CMR and read the information.

Our military services have taken a beating since the good days of President Ronald Reagan. Our military is strong today because of the character, integrity and dedication of the military member, not because of the leadership, or lack thereof, in the past 22 years.

Fred N. Chitwood
Gainesville

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