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Just an old Vet's take on DADT and gays in the military... [View All]

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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-03-10 02:12 PM
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Just an old Vet's take on DADT and gays in the military...
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First, the obvious, gays have always served in every army and navy throughout time.

With that said, the rest is relatively easy to comprehend; there is no valid reason to keep gays from serving within the uniformed services or any other branch of government. What has been used in the past is the same thing that was used against blacks and others from serving, through some odd thought processes, it was thought that blacks "weren't up to snuff". Today, we see that as ludicrous, but at one time it was taken as if it were written in stone. An aside here, but during the Revolution and the Civil War, black patriots proved their worth many times over, only to return to a status far below that of their brothers in arms. The travesty of that cannot be overstated. During the Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII, basically the same thing happened, although to a slightly lesser extent. Truman and Korea set the stage for desegregation of the services. Truman's move was a bold one, but it paid off, just as it would have paid off if desegregation had taken place earlier.

Throughout all of this, gays served, hiding their orientation. The discrimination was overt but an individual's sexual orientation has little to do with his/her ability to perform what is necessary in combat, combat support or rear echelon duties. When one is in a firefight, all you care about is whether the individuals you are with can shoot and move to take the position you are obliged to take. It comes down to...your life is the hands of competent people, and their lives are in your are out there fighting to keep each other alive, and gender, color, religion, place of origin or sexual orientation has nothing to do with the equation. We've learned over time that gender, color, religion, (or lack thereof), and place of origin were absurd reasons to keep individuals from serving; this last barrier must be taken down as well. Gays have served with distinction in the past and the present, there is no valid reason for discrimination any longer, (actually, there never was).

Gays have bled on battlefields across the world, many of them are buried in our military cemeteries, many of them have been awarded Purple Hearts, and the high decorations for valor. They accept these awards from a grateful nation, yet remained silent about a part of their lives. We, as a nation, owe it to these men and women to remove this barrier from their lives.

For those who are willing to sacrifice their time, limbs, lives defending this nation, we owe it to them to ensure they are not treated like second class citizens because of their sexual orientation. We are fighting for Equal Rights for all when we fight for the basic Human Rights each and every man woman and child are born with. To deny Equal Rights to anyone, denies them for all.

The military has been the vanguard for many social changes, I believe it will be again on this issue.

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