Thursday, July 27, 2006

It Might've Been 11,001

I read this scary statistic that said,

The Department of Defense has discharged more than 11,000 service members since 1993 under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), more than 800 of those service members were trained in skills deemed ‘mission-critical’ by the Pentagon. (News Report)

11,000?! Dang, that sure sounds like a lot of gay people, right? I have an interesting story for you. About a month before I was to re-enlist in the USAF Reserves back in 2001, I received a phone call from a trusted friend of mine up in USAF Strategic Air Command who said that if I re-enlisted, he had heard that my Reserve Command was going to use me as an example for other troops and go after me under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to have me discharged. The friend who told me about it was and is himself gay and 6 months later, he got an early retirement from the military.

Because of him, I didn't re-enlist. I served for 12 years (4 years Active, and 8 Reserve), received numerous Commendation medals and awards, served with distinction in the Gulf War and the Bosnian Conflict
. And yet, many felt that the contributions I had made were either bogus or threatening to unit cohesion. And yet, when I served, no one was threatened (and you can bet your ass I would have been told if anyone was) and my contributions were honored.

Frickin' stupid logic on their part, if you ask me.

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