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Have you taken the time to thank a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine for their service to our country lately?

We owe so much to our all-volunteer force. There is no other job that requires this kind of selfless dedication and courage. We need the military, and now the men and women on active duty need us to do something for them they cannot do for themselves.

They need to be defended from Barack Obama’s plan to expand the gay-rights agenda by using our armed forces as a laboratory for social experimentation.

In his State of the Union message, President Obama boldly announced his intention to dismantle the law barring homosexuals from serving in the military. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen and his minion in the Senate, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, immediately began working toward that end.

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The president is the commander in chief of our military. The folks at the Pentagon work for him. However, Congress writes the laws that set the rules that govern military personnel and “we the people” have the ability to control Congress. When the president and Congress lose their way on military matters, “we the people” not only have the option of giving our elected representatives our input, it is our duty to do so.

Military personnel must obey their orders. They are not really free to disagree with the policy of the commander in chief. It is considered a career-ender for officers. Furthermore, military personnel are not permitted to lobby Congress while in uniform.

Changes in military policy should be based on military readiness. Military policy should never be changed on a whim, but that seems to be the new standard for this president and the Democratic leaders in Congress, with the notable exception of Rep. Ike Skelton who chairs the House Armed Services Committee.

Gates promised only to “minimize disruption” and to “mitigate” the “negative consequences” that dismantling the policy will have on unit cohesion, recruiting and retention. Mullen admits that he doesn’t know what the effects will be, but he is in favor of going ahead with this policy anyway. These men are a disgrace to the country! Meanwhile, Levin is looking more and more like a dunderhead.

The issue of dismantling the law barring open homosexuals from serving in the military has been presented as one of fairness, basic civil rights and military necessity. These arguments are difficult to defend.

  • The argument that the military needs every person who will serve in times of war just doesn’t hold up. A study by the Center for Military Readiness shows that the number of soldiers discharged for homosexuality represents about one-third of 1 percent of all total discharges. In other words, the number is minuscule.

  • The issue of fairness is one that really needs to be addressed: Is it fair to put our men and women in the military, who have no control over where they sleep or shower, in situations where they are viewed as objects of sexual desire? Isn’t military life difficult enough as it is?
  • Our civil-rights laws were written to protect citizens from discrimination based on immutable characteristics such as race and gender, not on politically correct terms like “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” Furthermore, our military has never been constrained by civil-rights concerns. That is why the law that bars women from serving in combat positions has been upheld. That is why there are no wheelchair ramps on tanks and submarines.

Over the years, I have watched military leaders, who have demonstrated great courage on the battlefield, fold on issues of political correctness, particularly when it comes to the feminization of our armed forces. However, it has been encouraging to see our current crop of military leaders refuse to go along with the latest attempt to weaken the troops.

Last week, in hearings before the House and Senate, the other members of the joint chiefs, Adm. Gary Roughead, Gen. George Casey, Gen. Norton Schwartz and Gen. James Conway had an opportunity to weigh – in and they were not about to be rolled. Marine Commandant Conway summed it up this way: “I think the current policy works … keep the law as it is.”

If these men were willing to put their careers on the line after a lifetime of service to our country in order to protect our men and women in uniform, can we sit back and do nothing?

If you sincerely support our troops, let your voice be heard.

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