Readers of Tom Philpott's Military Update Column Sound Off
This is not criticism of gays on the military. The issue is the free leave of up to seven days --10 if overseas -- for getting married. Really!
As a non-gay veteran, I take exception to giving one segment of our society special leave while denying non-gay service members the same benefit.
To allow someone free leave just because the state they reside in does not condone gay marriage is wrong. Make an appointment somewhere else and use the leave you are entitled to by law.
The military is making a mistake with this new policy.
DANIEL BURNETTE Via email
I can't see how Defense Secretary Hagel thinks he is making things right by giving extra leave to gay couples.
Giving them the same benefits was the right thing to do. But to give them un-chargeable leave is throwing it in the faces of every other group of people in the military.
BOB BERG Waskom, Texas
So what happens when they need to divorce and the state where they are assigned doesn't recognize their marriage?
Does the Army give them free leave to solve that issue?
DAVID MICHEL Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Fort Carson, Colo.
Maybe you can help me.
I married my wife in 1958 while on active duty. Neither of us is gay but I feel I deserve those extra days leave as much as gays do.
Would you use your influence to retroactively get the 10 days for me? I'll take in pay with accumulated interest to date.
MARTY KAPSH Tacoma, Wash.
In an attempt to make everything "fair," military leaders are violating others' rights.
What if I married a Japanese woman while I'm stationed in Florida? I could certainly use those extra days of uncharged leave.
The idea is acceptance, right? So why keep giving preferential treatment to every group except Caucasian males (i.e. history months for blacks, women, Hispanics but not white males)?
By giving special attention to some, the military discriminates against everyone else.
I'm retiring next month after 30 years of service. I'm ashamed at how little backbone our military has shown by their ability to be swayed by public opinion. Do we think people wouldn't join if we didn't allow gays in, women on ships or show sensitivity to every damn "cause"?
We used to be the U.S. Navy and made no excuses. If you didn't like it, get out. Don't want our protection? Go to Russia.
We had fewer issues affecting good order and discipline when we didn't give a damn about everyone's "perception."
Fellow soldiers and sailors, we have backslid from values, qualities and tradition that made our military great. We're now just a group Congress can use as an excuse to give them another pay raise.
God help us all.
MICHAEL PAYNE Via email
I spent 20 years in the Navy. Chuck Hagel's decision to allow extra travel leave for gays who want to get married is in itself discriminatory and an abomination for our military.
I know gays have always been in the military but now they intentionally, with help from Hagel, are destroying the basic foundation of the armed forces. The military is designed to break things and kill. Since it has allowed social engineering, there has been a decline in discipline and moral. There is no way now that leader in the armed forces can effectively discipline those who engage in homosexual conduct. They will scream their leader has discriminated against them because they are gay, lesbian or some other non-traditional relationship.
I believe the decision to allow gays to openly announce their sexuality is the reason there has been an increase in cases of sexual harassment.
I wish I could put this in stronger language. Bottom line is I am ashamed to say I was ever in the Navy.
MICHAEL MILLER Milton, Fla.
More than 50 years have passed since I left the farm and went to Navy boot camp. The Navy was clean then and through my more than 25 years of active duty.
Due to social engineering and political correctness, which correlates to stupidity, the military overall is no longer clean. Hagel and cohorts, which assuredly includes those spineless wimps at the top of the military, can't bend over far enough to kiss homosexuals' butts.
Our military is in a shambles. The United States is weak, and treated as such by other nations.
I once thought it would be great if my grandchildren joined the military. Not anymore. I will not encourage them or anyone to become part of the Sodom and Gomorrah club.
QUINN ELLIOTT Via email