Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA


We are all aware of the US military’s policy of “Don’t ask – Don’t tell.” This policy has been in place since 1994. Over 10,000 individuals have been discharged from the Armed Forces for coming out of their military locker and publicly embracing their God-given sexuality.

The military, with exception of the Air Force, is in a crunch for manpower however, since the beginning of the war in Iraq. Has this made a difference on how the “Don’t ask – Don’t Tell” policy is enforced? You bet your body bag it has.

According to a report by an advocacy group, the military discharges for admitting one’s sexuality had increased steadily from 1994 through 1998. It dipped a little in 1999, only to increase again until hitting a high-water mark of 1,273 discharges in 2001. Last year, our Armed Forces found only 787 gays and lesbians unfit for service - drop of 17% from 2002 and a fall of 39% from 2001. What’s the story? Are more gays and lesbians staying in the locker?

Not really. The Army is strapped for manpower. It’s so stretched by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and its missions elsewhere that it’s had to use its “stop-loss” authority to keep people from departing the service. This directive allows the Army to prevent soldiers from either retiring or leaving the military when their service obligations end. Considering the Army’s personal problems, one can understand why openly gay and lesbian soldiers are no longer being removed from the ranks.

Of course, this flies in the face of the “Don’t ask – Don’t tell” policy which recommends dismissal of openly gay soldiers for reasons concerning unit cohesion. One would think that unit cohesion would be of more importance during a war than during peace, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Gays and lesbians are now good enough to be on active duty, filling a billet where they might have to give their lives for a country who won’t even allow them to marry.

I say so much for the rationality of the military policy concerning gays. It’s about time something is done about the “Don’t ask – Don’t tell” policy. If gays are good enough to die for their country during a war, they ought to be good enough to serve their country during peace time as well – whether they stay in the locker or not. Gay and lesbian soldiers have proved that they’re not in the Army to attempt to have sex with their barracks mates, but to obey orders and attack the enemies of their country.

Personally, I’m proud of all our soldiers and I wish those who are gay and lesbian could publicly stand up and be role models for our community.

©2004 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre

# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 10:31 AM
I was going through blogs and I found yours, and started reading. I absolutely love it, I love your style of writing and everything you have to say. Keep it up, Ill be back to read more!
Thanks Rae!! Appreciate your kind words. You're welcome here anytime!! :)
Marcia, your images have a nasty habit of covering the text. Now I can't read some of your articles without stopping the full load of your blog :(
Hey Vlad!! My site is best viewed at 1280x1024. Make sure your window is opened full screen. Thanks!!
You can view it at 1024x768, but it will be a bit strained that way.
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