Thank you for publishing the excellent piece by Karen Mesko regarding the "don't ask, don't tell" policy ("To Be a Soldier ... or a Human Being," Feb. 21 Forum).
I was discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" in February 2003. Like Ms. Mesko, I was an outstanding performer and was selected as the Fort Sill Soldier of the Year in 2001. Her essay captured what it was like to serve under "don't ask, don't tell" and the additional sacrifice gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers are forced to make: the freedom to love and build a family.
I'd like to repeat one sentence she wrote, because I cannot say it any better myself: "The person you build a life with is not a hobby or a 'lifestyle' you can just as easily keep private as not. 'Don't ask, don't tell' is not about discretion, but the dehumanization of gay service members simply because of who they love."
Thank you, again, for publishing such an excellent piece.
PEPE N. JOHNSON