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War bonds. (reader forum).

Finally the news story I've been craving comes out ["Family Life During Wartime," April 29]. I have cringed at every news story featuring the words "leaves a wife and children behind," knowing that silenced gay and lesbian military personnel also leave their own families and loved ones behind. If it is important to "support the troops" during this time, then it is even more important as a community to support our gay and lesbian troops and their families.

Thank you for recognizing their important role and hopefully educating others to see this overlooked aspect of the story. The stories you featured serve as an extremely appropriate reminder to those in the military that they are not forgotten, that their service is appreciated, and that we all owe them a very large thank-you--not only for doing their job but for doing it under the oppression of "don't ask, don't tell."

Craig Olson, Des Moines, Iowa

Your cover photo was highly evocative. As an active-duty member of the Canadian Forces, it is a scene I've been witness to, though not often. Most recently I watched as my best friend said goodbye to her partner, also a member of the forces, the morning she was to leave for the Persian Gulf. Though it was heart-wrenching and difficult, it was also a small triumph. In Canada we are allowed to be out and still serve our country.

That said, there is still a long way to go. The stroke of a pen cannot create an immediate acceptance of something that to many members of the military is still strange and marginal behavior as opposed to a trait you are born with.

We are, however, legally protected and able to serve without fear of reprisal or overt discrimination. To my brothers and sisters in uniform in the American forces, I salute you. Your time will come, and although it's not all ice cream and roses, there is a sense of pride and an incredible feeling of freedom, emotions that have always been and should remain a tangible thing when in service to your nation. The Marines sum it up well: semper fidelis, always faithful. Keep that faith and know that you have a lot of unconditional support north of the border.

Name withheld, via the Internet

While I have been totally opposed to the war in Iraq, I do respect those who have chosen to enlist in our armed forces, and I especially admire those gay men and lesbians who have to endure many trials and tribulations in order to serve. However, when I read "Paul, a registered Republican who describes himself as 'very patriotic,'" my sympathy for Paul and Ken went out the door. Undoubtedly Paul has voted for the very men and women of the Republican Party who work so hard to keep the illogical "don't ask, don't tell" policy alive at the expense of our gay and lesbian soldiers. Paul, try voting Democratic the next time around.

C.R. Lake, Chicago, Ill.
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 27, 2003
Previous Article:The view from Paris. (last word).
Next Article:Taking sides. (reader forum).

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