Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

MILITARY: Close quarters a problem with gays

Letter by Tracy L. Adams, Steilacoom on May 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm with 43 Comments »
June 1, 2010 9:51 am

A recent opinion poll finds that more than 70 percent of civilians want homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military. Congress just approved an initial bill to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Civilians and Congress don’t have a clue what it’s like to serve in the military. Having served in the military for more than 21 years, I have firsthand experience with gays in the military. Living conditions are the primary reason why morale will and has been degraded due to gays.

Case in point: Stationed in tents for two months, we had open-tent showers. About 15 of us were taking a shower in this open tent when a known gay military member entered. That tent emptied like a skunk just entered the area.

In addition, no one wanted to place his cot next to his, and the commander had to resolve living conditions.

Yes, gays can fly planes, become doctors, even command an entire base, but close living conditions will always be a problem with gays in the military.

Let military members vote whether to repeal the current policy, not civilians who are clueless.

Leave a comment Comments → 43
  1. beerBoy says:

    All those big strong men so afraid of one gay……

  2. Volks253 says:

    I’m always amazed when the far right homophobes take this road.

  3. Murigen says:

    Why did it empty? Was everyone afraid they wouldn’t measure up?? Why would sleeping in the next cot be a problem? Really, I’ve been to retreats where men and women had to shower together or it would take all morning and sleep in the same rooms. The women didn’t run out when the men started showing up and the men didn’t run out because women were there. The biggest complaint about the sleeping arrangements was when someone snored too loud.

  4. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Only the naive leftist dullards, social engineers, and those who have absolutely no familiarity with a life in the military would promote gays in the military – period!!!

  5. Murigen says:

    wong, the3rd.

  6. Only in America!
    Are men so frightened of physical contact with other men. In other countries men dance with men, sit down to tea with other men, etc.. In America if two men are together there is always the presumption that they are gay. God help us if one should hold the other’s hand in a guesture of sympathy or friendship. In many cultures a man kisses another on both cheeks in greeting and it IS good manners. I’m really curious about the military shower incident. Did the “Gay” have some sort of tatoo on his chest for identification? Did he have three ears? What does a homophobic person see that sets a naked gay man apart from any other naked man?

  7. Interesting idea, Tracy…to let people actually “in” the situation have a say in the matter.

    And for all of you who presume “fear” is at the heart of this reaction, grow up.

  8. LuckyCharm says:

    Funny, it was never a problem in the units in which I served, Tracy. I have shared tents and showers with gays and straights, and honestly, I can never remember anyone feeling uncomfortable with it. For that matter, during OIF, I spent more time bunked with men than with women. Yeah, none of us liked the fact that we couldn’t all just strip down to our skivvies in the suffocating heat, but we sucked it up along with every other miserable facet of life over there and concentrated on doing our job and getting home alive.

    The US military is by far the most prudish in the world when it comes to sexuality. I heard stories of guys who’d spent time among British units, where they don’t segregate toilet or shower facilities. One guy recounted a time he was perched on the middle seat of a 3-seat crapper, only to have a couple of female Brits barge in and calmly take their places on either side of him, chatting away like he wasn’t even there. LOL!!

    Before I served in combat, I used to believe that integrating gays would bring up all sorts of leadership challenges, like how to bunk them, what sort of facilities to provide, would their peers reject them, etc. But I found that when the balloon goes up, the last thing you worry about is whether the guy or gal next to you is getting some kind of cheap thrill off your delectable physique. Really.

  9. villager98 says:

    Of course it is fear, sozo. It is a well-known psychological fixation known as homophobia.

  10. the3rdpigshouse says:

    LC – even if I believed your outrageous claim to have been in combat the point you are missing is – what do you believe the rank and file straight troops would think of a gay 2nd Lt who thinks he/she can now lead the troop[s. How cohesive and effective do you believe that unit would be!?

  11. Volks253 says:

    I got news for you pigs, there already is hundreds of gay 2nd Lt. and higher leading the troops everyday, and I can guarantee you that most of them know about it.
    It doesn’t matter as long as he/she is doing their job and doing it well.

    It worked that way when I was in and it works that way now, had you ever served you would know that.

  12. LuckyCharm says:

    3PH, the unit I deployed with had a lesbian CSM. But its lack of cohesiveness and effectiveness stemmed more from a lack of overall training than anything else. My only complaint against that CSM was that she ordered pallets full of bottled water to be placed outside the tent in Kuwait as “war stock,” for when we went north. In very short time, the hot sun had melted all the plastic, and none of that precious drinking water ended up being good for anything except maybe washing clothes, which we did in buckets by hand. I would’ve felt the same even if she’d been straight. In fact, I spent some time bunked two cots down from her, and the only thing I worried about was whether she’d find some way to nitpick about the tidiness of my area.

    Your premise just doesn’t hold any water in real life, 3PH. And I have to say, I find it curious and sad that those most vocal about “supporting the troops” are the first to denigrate the service of actual troops who put themselves in harm’s way. Like most right-wing causes, the rhetoric clashes with real life.

  13. The idea that the open service of homosexuals in the military would cause a problem is just ridiculous. Even according to the original poster they are there serving alongside us even if they cannot openly acknowledge this fact. Has the structure broken down? I do not believe it has. Aren’t all of our service members dedicated professionals? I think so.

    In my 8 years on submarines, we had several guys who were gay. They were in leadership roles and among the ships company. Even in this all-male, zero privacy environment there were no issues.

    The main point that people should be aware of is that we are the last modern military with some form of discrimination in this area. Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell has only been in place since the mid 1990’s, so the idea that it is an integral or historical part of our military structure is completely false. Any idea that there will be problems because of people openly serving their countries presupposes that our military men and women are somehow fixated on peoples sexuality and not on getting their jobs done.

    I for one believe that our service members are above these petty issues.

  14. volks…my point exactly. Just because you SAY someone is afraid doesn’t make it true. It’s the label that needs changing. sigh

    I don’t want to denigrate your service, LC, but I fear it’s warped the lens through which you look at the world. I DO respect your comments regarding sharing quarters with gays and straights, however as I have indicated before…I prefer hearing from those who’ve actually been in the situation to those who know nothing about it.

    But, you seem to suffer from a syndrome I’m sure there’s a name for somewhere… (I’m sure volks can tell us!) one that goes something like this. You had a brief, subjective experience as a soldier in Iraq which you mistakenly think qualifies you as an expert on the entire timeless and universal dilemma regarding “war and peace.”

    This is especially common among those with egocentric personalities which I have to say includes you. Your experience is just that…YOUR experience. It has value, but not the value YOU seem to place on it. IMO

  15. Volks253 says:

    In sozo world only his opinion and experiences are valid.
    Only those that support and align with his ideology count, if they don’t, well then they clearly are the result of some sickness or ‘syndrome’. If they don’t march in lock step with the far right dogma, then they are the result of looking at the world through a ‘warped’ lens, because everyone knows that the partisan view from the rightwing media is the only ‘correct’ and stable view, right?
    Is that what you are saying?
    Can you possibly be that myopic, that self centered to think that only your spoon fed view and vast world experience (or at least those you’ve been told you’ve had) is the only one that should be counted?
    Have you really sunk that low?

  16. LuckyCharm says:

    sozo, I can only speak from my own experience, unlike some here who throw around generalities and hyperbole without knowing what they’re talking about. If someone else has a different experience to share, some concrete way they’ve personally witnessed the devastating effects of gay personnel in military units, they’re more than welcome to speak up.

    Sharing my own experience doesn’t make me egocentric — in fact, it is an admission that I’m not omniscient and I can’t presume to pontificate about what I don’t know. I wish more posters here would follow suit.

    On the other hand, I know there is a label (since you seem so fascinated by them) for people who pass judgment on others based on little or no personal knowledge, while failing to see that the very same charge can be leveled against them.

  17. Volks253 says:

    I think we all know what that label is Luckycharm, and you are correct it fits sozo very well among others.

  18. Roncella says:

    sozo, If only LCharm would read your post of 7:45 am, she could actually learn something from your comments. However I doubt she will take what you have explained and actually learn from it. Nice try on your part sozo.

    Volks253, Repeat after me 500 times, Change, Yes We Can,(Obama minus tele-prompters), aa, aw, aa, a, aw, awe, aa, and let me be clear when I say aa, aw, aa, aw…….and then get a big drink of your Obama Kool Aid……

  19. Sharing your experiences didn’t make you egocentric, Lucky, but something did. Something seems to have created in you a belief that you have superior knowledge on a number of subjects. I think perhaps you think that because you read a lot, or your mom told you you were extra smart or some such. I don’t mean to psychoanalyze you, and I know that’s how it sounds.

    Your personal experience gives you a small measure of understanding that’s unique to you, but it does not automatically grant you expert status.

    As for you volks, you are as absurd as all your other selves. Go off and create a new moniker…how about Skateboard to stay with your transport theme, or maybe Scooter, something that aptly warns readers of the approximate maturity level they will encounter upon reading your posts.

  20. beerBoy says:

    sozo – on the one hand you support the idea ” .to let people actually “in” the situation have a say in the matter’ and on the other you discount LC’s personal experience “in” the situation……

  21. Volks253 says:

    Both roncella and sozo are offering nothing but personal attacks and party line talking points.
    They know they are beaten so that is what they both resort to.
    Sozo does it in a very strange way however, no idea what he means by that but then….I rarely understand the far right extremist.
    I had hopes that roncella might show that he is above the childishness but it seems that was not to be, the only thing he has is his cut and paste meaningless talking points.

    It’s bad, I was looking forward to debating him.

  22. I invite you to read with care, bBoy.

    I DO want commentary from those who have been on the inside , including LC…just pointing out that in her case, it seems to have led to a sort of grandiose self-image that’s out of line.

  23. the3rdpigshouse says:

    volks253 – you are pathetic and do not warrant responses from anyone – you just ceased to exist!!!

  24. LuckyCharm says:

    Do I threaten you, sozo? Not to get too personal, but your excessively personal off-the-cuff evaluations of my psychological state seem a bit over the top, considering you’ve never met me and are not aware of even one one-thousandth of my personal history.

  25. newscrap says:

    You giving YOUR experience makes you ego centric. I bet if there was some military homophobe sozo would want that person to go on adnauseum (SP?). But hey, at least YOU still exist, not like poor volk253, because th3rdpig make him nonexistent. And he did it without using socialist/marxist/ignorant voters–that is a first.

  26. LuckyCharm says:


    Sorry, can’t help it, but thanks for the laugh, newscrap.

    Yeah, sozo would pull up some speech from someone years ago that proves that homosexuals threaten the integrity of our military…. *yawn*

  27. Volks253 says:

    Thanks pigs! I know I’m on the correct path when the likes of you and sozo hate me!
    It’s a great complement and comfort.

  28. No you don’t threaten me LC. And I believe I even said somewhere that I shouldn’t be trying to psychoanalyze you, but you DO reveal quite a lot about yourself on these pages, and, right or wrong, I find myself wondering about what makes you tick.

    I will say again that I WAS interested in LC’s experience, newscrap, and I do value comments from people who have actually been in the mix on all of these things, but it is LC who tends to go “over the top” — from sharing experiences to drawing grand conclusions based on a mere tidbit of said experience.

    I don’t hate you volks. I don’t like you. I feel a little sorry for you which will no doubt enrage you, but just want to be clear about things.

    As for speculation that I would give my blessings to commentary from the extreme right, look through the archives and try to find one of my posts that affirms anything of the sort. You’ll look a long time.

  29. Volks253 says:

    Sozo a “dimwit” like you couldn’t enrage me if you tried.
    I am simply amused by you and your myopic views and your closed mindedness.
    But all you right wing extremists amuse me, your hypocrisy is a thing to behold, it’s too bad you all can’t see it.
    I would never presume to ‘feel sorry’ for any of you, after all you’ve given your minds freely to you party and it’s media, I can’t feel sorry for someone that chooses that path, just amusement.
    I do however feel sorry for the people that are forced to be around you however, they didn’t ask to subjected to your hate and bile.

  30. Uh- Villager, I “know” that the politically correct label for anyone who has any objection to any aspect of the gay lifestyle is homophobe. My question is this…do you think it possible that something other than fear that informs these objections.

    You see, I know many people who are not afraid, harbor no latent homosexual tendencies and in fact, do not “hate” gay people who still find the acceptance of homosexuality as “normal” questionable.

    Don’t bother lecturing me on the subject, but please try to open your mind to the possibility that fear is not, in fact, at the heart of the matter for many.

  31. sozo – the “politically correct” (I love how that term is pulled up everytime someone on the Right wants to put someone down) term is “heterosexist” for policies that discriminate on the basis sexual preference. “Homophobe” refers to folks who state their fears that acceptance of gays (the gay agenda!) will lead to the downfall of society/the military/education/whatever as it is clearly a fear of homosexuals being treated as normal human beings.

  32. and sozo……weren’t you and your like-minded echoes complaining about the use of the term “immigrant” for undocumented workers/aliens? I guess “political correct”, like “judicial activism” only offends when it is the other side……

  33. LuckyCharm says:

    sozo, there are also people who wouldn’t accept interracial marriage as “normal,” or who think slavery is a God-ordained principle, or who believe television is evil and coffee is sinful. How far should we twist our society in order to accommodate everyone’s moral convictions? Or, should morality be left up to the individual, insofar as their conduct doesn’t violate other people’s basic civil rights? It’s not the government’s job to define “normal” behavior, or is it, in your mind?

    And I thought it was supposed to be the liberals who were all about big-government intrusion into people’s private lives…

  34. bBoy you are confusing me with someone else regarding the language in the immigration debate.

    LC, I didn’t realize we were talking about the government’s role in this particular sub-thread — simply the term homophobia, and I still maintain that fear is not the issue for many. Actually for most.

    I’m all for civil rights for all people.

    However, I do not believe that everyone should be free to do what feels “natural” to them. I don’t think you do either…if you really think about it.

  35. LuckyCharm says:

    sozo, this whole letter is about gays in the military. So it is not in any way inappropriate to bring the discussion back to that topic.

    And I do agree that fear is at the core of the anti-homosexual agenda. “What will it do to military morale? Will it weaken our forces? Will it destroy our ability to fight and make us more vulnerable? WILL OUR COUNTRY BE DESTROYED?”

    Or, if you’re like my dad, “Will it bring down divine judgment on us?”

    Fear, fear, fear. If people really weren’t afraid, they’d say, “Yeah, I don’t give a rat’s patootie if you’re gay — can you hit that target? That’s all I care about.”

  36. What if that gay happened to be your commander? What if that gay happened to be your 1st Sgt or Plat. Sgt? What if that gay was a corporal who had a relationship with the Battalion Commander? A lot of questions and very few relevent answers. Proponents of gays in the military have zero knowledge of the ramifications of such a policy.

  37. beerBoy says:

    frosty – what if your 1st sgt or plat. sgt was gay?………I think the more important question is how good your 1st sgt or plat sgt is at keeping you safe while successfully executing missions – if he happens to be not hiding the fact that he is gay it might change some opinions amongst the troops about what gay people are but, other than that, military discipline and protocol should ensure that all will go smoothly.

  38. LuckyCharm says:

    frosty, my last unit had a gay CSM. It caused no problems. In fact, most of the fraternization trouble, at least as far as I saw throughout my career, were with heterosexual relationships. If your aim is to “ensure that all will go smoothly,” then maybe the military needs to set up and run brothels like in WWII, although even that’s no guarantee.

  39. In that case LC and bBoy, I’m more of an Obamaphobe than I am a homophobe. My fears for this country, for this world in fact, go much deeper than whether or not someone is gay or straight.

    People like you scare me more than gay soldiers to be sure.

  40. villager98 says:

    Fifteen naked guys fleeing in fear of one naked homosexual! Wonder what they did when confronted with people actually trying to kill them. Wouldn’t want to serve in that unit.

  41. LuckyCharm, now we can agree on something. I’ll support the brothel idea. So your last unit’s CSM was gay? How do you know? Villager98, so you wouldn’t want to serve in a unit where naked guys flee a queer?, Oh, I get it, you would run towards him right?

  42. LuckyCharm says:

    frosty, let’s just say she was “widely reputed” to be gay. At any rate, it has the same effect, doesn’t it? If you THINK the person in the cot next to you is gay (and yes, I slept just two bunks down from her for a time), wouldn’t that have the same effect on morale as you’re claiming?

  43. L.C. in the early 60’s I was admitted to a field hospital in Germany with a severe case of Strep Throat, high fever etc. One night I woke up to a smiling male nurse looking down at me with his hand where it shouldn’t have been. Do I have reasons to be judgemental? you bet your a$$!

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0