When My Soldier Comes Home

I would give all the stars in the universe to be standing there with the other military families as Clay returns from Iraq; as he steps off that bus from the airport and slowly walks with all his gear toward the longing and eager embraces waiting for everyone-else-but-him.

I could go too, I suppose.  Physically, I could go.  I could hang out with other family and friends if I could somehow get on base.  But it would be too much to ask for me not to sprint over to him the moment I see him, not to grip him tightly until I stopped shaking, not to hold his face in my hands and trace his tears with my fingertips.

At that one moment in time I couldn’t pretend to be anyone other than his husband, or that he is someone other than the one I love so deeply – down to the very depths of my soul.

But none of that will matter once he’s returned.  None of that will matter when I can again watch his soft breathing as he sleeps.  None of that will matter when the lonely echoes of an empty house are replaced with the beautiful sounds of his everyday being.  None of that will matter.

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Coming Out Day

Can you imagine what would happen if all of the estimated 65,000 currently serving gay and lesbian servicemembers were to come out at once?  What would the effect be on our military readiness and our ability to fight a double-front war if 65,000 highly trained soldiers, from private to general, were suddenly investigated and discharged at the same time?

The fact is that it would be a huge blow to our armed forces.  We need these folks, that’s obvious – but we want them to be quiet and ‘stay in their place’.  And we’ve heard that one before in the not-so-distant past, haven’t we?

“We’ll tolerate you, as long as you stay in your place.  And if you don’t, it’s your own damn fault for not following the rules…”

Yeah, talk to women and people of color about the history of that one, lest we somehow forget their experiences…

So you there, gay soldier –  we need you to selflessly put your life on the line, sew up our wounded, fly our helicopters, sweep the roads for IEDs… but don’t you dare talk about the person that you love.  And if you do, swift military justice will rain down on your head faster than you can say general discharge.

Yeah, we’ll discharge the ones that are too uppity and just won’t keep lying and hiding.  That’ll keep the rest of them in line.

Now, in reality, I couldn’t advocate such a  mass ‘outing’ with a clear conscience.  It’s a neat idea, but we’re talking about the livelihood, careers and safety of an incredibly dedicated bunch of soldiers.

But wouldn’t that be one hell of a National Coming Out Day…