Washington (CNN) – There's a constant fear that hangs over some service members deployed to a war zone - and it's not necessarily the threat from insurgents or roadside bombs.
One Marine serving in Afghanistan said suppressing the truth about his sexual orientation is gut-wrenching.
"I do worry a lot about being outed and kicked out," he said in an e-mail to CNN. "So far the military has been my livelihood and my source of work/income for the past six years. I don't want that all taken away from me and me being discharged anything but honorably."
The Marine requested anonymity because of the military's 1993 congressionally mandated "don't ask, don't tell" law prohibiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members from coming out.
Being homosexual in the military was grounds for discharge before "don't ask, don't tell." The argument against gays in the military was that they would cause a breakdown of unit cohesion and morale.
Others argue that those concerns are unfounded, pointing to other U.S. allies such as Great Britain and Israel which have openly gay and lesbian members serving in the military.