These are the thoughts of a gay soldier — a North Carolina
native — who has been deployed to Iraq. Because of the
military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy,
he must remain anonymous.
I mentioned in my last correspondence about being mobilized
with my military unit. We’re going through that intensive
training I talked about and we’ll soon be shipping out
of the States for Kuwait and then Iraq to a camp just north
I rarely have a chance to be alone these days — so it’s
hard to be alone with my thoughts. There are so many racing
through my head right now as I think about leaving my partner
and so many friends behind.
I guess this experience — being uprooted from my daily
life, facing deployment and possible combat situations, has
made me seriously think about life, the people I care about
and things that are important.
Over the past few days I’ve been poked with so many needles
I’m starting to feel like a pin cushion. You get so many
immunizations when you are leaving the country. It’s
great because it protects you from some of the diseases you
can get in Third World countries. It gets you prepared medically
to go to war, so to speak. It gives me a sense of stability,
Maybe it’s like wearing a condom when you’re having
sex. It kind of ups the odds in your favor.
I’m thinking about all my friends back there when I wonder
how prepared they are when they’re out cruising, looking
for that hook-up. Are you guys playing safe? Are you armed
and ready against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS?
Nobody ever thinks it’s their turn to get infected with
I hope it’s not my time to get shot, or hurt, while serving.
I guess you could say I’m prepared medically and I have
the right equipment to protect me. Right now I carry an M-16A2.
When I get to the theater of operations, I will have a 9MM
hand gun. I have those weapons to protect myself, in addition
to body armor and a Kevlar helmet.
As I’m sitting here writing this and thinking about my
buddies back home, I hope you guys will take the time to grab
a few condoms and have them with you — even if you don’t
think you’re going to hook up.
I know I’m getting a little lost in thought here — but
call it my paternal instinct. I care about you guys. I want
you to be there and to be healthy when I get back.
Don’t take life for granted. Be smart and take care of
yourself. That’s all for now.
Soon to be reporting from Iraq, your friend and soldier from