At dinner tonight, I casually read remarks by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in their testimony before Congress concerning the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. As I relayed their “serious concerns” about repeal, Clay matter-of-factly stated, “Oh, I armed up and protected Gen. _____ when he came to visit the war zone…”
I poked at my food, and stewed… I got angrier and angrier. In protecting General X that day in Iraq, Clay didn’t think twice about doing the duty he is highly qualified and proud to do… but these two fat-cat generals are so quick to dismiss the sacrifice of the thousands of gay and lesbian soldiers whose service THEY DEPEND UPON every single god damned day of the year…
Maybe it’s someone on their security detail, or their driver, or their military barber, or their doctor, or their personal aid, or their pilot, or their cook… These are the troops who support them each and every day, and whose exemplary service has everything to do with their worth as good soldiers, and absolutely NOTHING to do with their sexual orientation.
Shame on you Generals Casey and Schwartz: Gay and lesbian soldiers stand up and honorably serve you 24/7, yet you are not willing to spend any political capital to stand up for them.
Question: When contemplating the end of a patently discriminatory practice, is it constructive to give the actors against such change an equal voice at the table?
As to this yearlong process of “exploration” on how and when to lift the ban on allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military, I am unsure where it will take us. I see a year full of of anti-repeal interest groups marshaling their forces to pressure congress and inflame public opinion by spewing out bigotry and hateful stereotypes.
Don’t get me wrong – I am proud of, and grateful for, Adm. Mullen’s bold proclamations at today’s congressional hearings. I’m just more than a bit incredulous of the claims that we need to be oh-so-careful not to grievously strain our already over-taxed soldiers and their families…
NEWS FLASH: Tens of thousands of gay and lesbian soldiers AND their families are already suffering every single damn day because of this discriminatory policy. And what of the one billion dollar cost of discharging otherwise highly qualified soldiers under DADT – wasted money that could have been wisely spent helping all our soldiers and their families in countless other ways?
Our brave soldiers already serve side by side with gay and lesbian soldiers every day and in every aspect of military service, and they know it. They already live together, fight together, and yes – shower together every day without incident. In their lives outside of the service, most have friends and/or family members who are gay.
During war time, soldiers and their families are worried about a whole hell of a lot of things more pressing than if Adam loves Steve instead of Eve. Give our straight soldiers and their families a little credit, please…