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Notes from a gay soldier
Click here to see a complete listing of our soldier's adventures in Iraq.


Editor’s Note: 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 of Baghdad.

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, I suppose.
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 an STD.
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 Charlotte.

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