A vet speaks out about DADT. He is a friend from Pa but wishes to remain anonymous.
I asked: How do you feel personally as a vet and a vet who is still active in vet affairs with this ruling?
When I served, there were gays in the military. After time in a duty station... it was kind of common knowledge. I will admit, while I was in Vietnam, the idea didn't really surface. As far as I know...no one was open about it. Here is my problem with this.... I don't brag I am Hetro, Wicken, Hindu, Catholic or Hemorphodite. There are things you need not use as a suffix or prefix to who you are. I was Specialist or Sarge... and I did my job. They have to as well. DADT worked.... There was no need to declare anything but doing what was expected by the military. Now we passed this and with no more thought than maybe "2 down, 2 to go" mindset. Lets run down possible and I do mean possible scenarios..
1) Living in the barracks... maybe 3-4 man rooms.... and 2 are "lovers". Picture the problems with that set up. Do we have separate barracks/showering facilities for the Male and Female Gays?... Budget$$$
2) You are in a squad.... and maybe one or two are gay or even an "item". If you as a squad leader need to send one out on point or not recommend for promotion or awards.... can they say you did it because they are Gay or worse yet.... the "pair" in a firefight, will they be watching just their "backs" or will they step up for the whole squad. Just think of a married couple...a male and female.... in the squad and bullets fly. Do your loyalties lie in the safety of your wife or husband or is it for the good of the whole squad???
3) Only 10 states recognize gay marriage ( according to Barney...so far ) . Now...if there are bases in those 10 states... and the couple is "married"..now you deal with "family Housing". And then they get stationed in a state that doesn't recognize.... then what? Even the drinking laws were adjusted to 21... the max age of consuption in Civilian jurisdictions.... We use to be able to drink on post with no regard to age more than you are IN the military and had an ID card. Shortly after that, it was changed to the State Age limit and then...on to 21. ( I don't think an 17 or 18 yearold service person really worries about drinking anyway. Thought comes to mind... old enough to take another persons life and carry/utilize weapons that civilians aren't allowed to and NOT being able to have a beer, just bothers me... S-H-I-V-E-R-S....) Budget$$$$$
4) Military Social activities to include Company parties up to formal Military Balls. Picturing the dance partners. Maybe an officer with his "date"... again... promotion, assignments and award questions.????
5) As far as PDA ( Public Displays of Affection) that is frowned upon in many circumstances of military life beyond the departure and homecoming. Even a uniformed person or persons doing something as simple as holding hands can be a precursor to a verbal admonishment by superiors. There is even no fraternizing between Officer and Enlisted in many instances...although it occurs behind the scenes... I knew several officers who "dated" enlisted.... quietly.
I do believe that marriage is MAN and WOMAN ONLY. Our religious and Biological belief backs that. Straights are nicknamed "Breeders". and " be fruitful and multiply" seems like what God meant. I have a problem with children believing they have 2 Mommies or 2 Daddies. Growing up today is confusing enough IMHO. In the end, this will cause more problems than we have taken the time to actually admit. We will also have to BUDGET$$$$ to address this change and ways to implement it. I refuse to equate this as the same as the race issue or even a civil rights issue. I think we would have been better off following the Clinton Doctrine...asking many who served...there seemed to be no real problem. I DO have a problem with CIVILIANS trying to make the military like CIVILIAN. They are not nor should be.
If they want them to be the same..then have the MILITARY eliminate the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) legal system. The Military system has the only system that ALLOWS DOUBLE JEOPARDY. You can be tried, for the same crime, in both...the military court and the Civilian Court for felonies and sentenced twice. Allow the military to "UNIONIZE". If you don't follow orders, all they could do is "FIRE" you, not charge you and give you Company Grade Punishment or worse yet a Court Marshall with possible Prison time...kinda like that recent officer who refused orders to a Combat Zone and now is serving time. MILITARY is NOT the cross section of society. They utilize people from the Cross Section but...they go to Basic or Boot to be MOLDED into the MILITARY LIFE. They are then expected to follow orders, that at times, can mean harm to themselves and to others. Go ahead and ask a civilian, beyond those trained as police or fire to risk their lives.... or to pick up a weapon and shoot at another human or even be told...you will be separated from your family for LONG periods of time... Yeah Right.
So in closing..... leave the MILITARY BE THE MILITARY and CIVILIANS BE CIVILIANS.... THEY ARE NOT THE SAME AND SHOULD NEVER BE. I talk to many who have retired from the military and MOST if not ALL, are glad they don't have this to deal with. It makes their jobs even more complicated and adds extra milestones to cross, when they just might need to concentrate on living. I see this as a disservice to the uniform. I say, serve if you want to, serve honorably, but your sexual or religious orientation is of no concern to me so...don't flaunt it. These are just my findings and opinions. Call me what you may, I don't care. I served with Gays.... and I have had Gay family members.... they never make it an issue so why make it one in the military. It can create hostility, further prejudices and will cost resources that we seem to NOT have.
" Two down....two to go!"