Regarding the News’ View, “The Lieberman factor” (Jan. 20): Senator Lieberman has served our great state for more than two decades and as he looks toward retirement, we thank him for his service and recognize him for his unwavering support for all our troops.

The senator played a lasting and memorable role in the fight to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” — which barred gays and lesbians from serving openly and with integrity. After two failed votes on the floor, it was Sen. Lieberman who brought together key players and negotiated in good faith between Democrats, Republicans and independents.

The recent repeal was a defining civil rights victory for our country and for this generation. It was indeed an appropriate bookend achievement for a former young civil rights fighter who went to Mississippi in 1963 to protest segregation.

Sen. Lieberman has helped restore dignity to thousands of service members on active duty, and to over a million gay and lesbian veterans who served in silence. The recent repeal’s success would not have been possible without Sen. Joseph Lieberman and his Senate colleagues.

As a champion of national security, Sen. Lieberman — a man who also played an instrumental role in creating the Department of Homeland Security and has led efforts to modernize the military — would be a fine candidate for Secretary of Defense, as Robert Gates looks to depart the Pentagon sometime this year.

Cassie Chambers

Jan. 21

The writer is a 2010 graduate of Silliman College.