In therapy, Clay can now recall all of the excruciatingly vivid details of the event that began his journey into PTSD: the too-loud chatter of the radios, the swirling dust in the sunlight, the sound of the collapsing roof, the sound of his buddy vomiting while running away – leaving Clay to deal with the carnage by himself.

The act of being a soldier, in WHATEVER capacity, has absolutely nothing to do with what gender you fall in love with.  It has to do with how you fly your airplane, how you care for your patient, how you throw your grenade (like Clay did that day), or how you fix that MRAP or jet engine for the soldier who will depend on it next.

Our gay and lesbian soldiers do these things, and do them well, every single day.  This isn’t just some esoteric debate about the merits of gay rights – it’s about Clay pulling the pin and throwing his grenade when he was supposed to.  It’s about being a good soldier even when one hot and dusty afternoon can change your life forever.  It’s about honoring his, and every other soldiers’, dedication and sacrifice.

This is America.  Let our people be what they want to be, as long as they are willing and able to do what is asked of them.