I guess I should be proud. The military and the Army have finally decided to live up to values they preach and the freedom they defend. I’m a little proud I guess. I’m more happy for all of my brothers and sisters in arms who are LGB who can finally put their ass on the line between good and evil defending freedom as themselves. Those jingoistic words seem relative when you are considered a second-class citizen, and your partner will not receive benefits like other military spouses. I guess small steps are required to appease small minds.
This is my promise to you, my LGB Soldiers present and future, if you are in my unit I will train you with the same vigor and provide you the same opportunities I do any other soldier. I will give you just as many opportunities to succeed or fail and base all decisions objectively, on your ability to lead troops, take care of soldiers and complete the mission. I promise you no more and no less than your straight counterparts, and really I think that’s all you wanted anyways, while being allowed...permitted...to be yourself. Most honestly, because I don’t have the time or energy to care about who the fuck you’re sleeping with at night.
I’m sure there will be “queer-panic,” but that, in time, will resolve itself as the bigots who can’t handle living in the 21st century expose themselves to the test of relevancy and sanity only to be found lacking both. This, therefore, makes them no-value added in an organization that prides itself on its values.
The seven values, that you remember we were taught in basic training: Loyalty, Duty, RESPECT, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. These values that we, as soldiers, are supposed to live, fight and die by, values that all soldiers were forced to violate daily since the implementation of DADT.
“But Marcus, this doesn’t effect you? You’re a straight guy like us, just stay in the club.”
Anytime any American is treated unfairly or unequally especially by a government institution, it effects all of us. It especially effects me when I am the enforcer of these unfair and archaic rules, laws and practices. You would change your mind if you would have seen the mental anguish caused in young men and women who have chosen to volunteer only to be unexpectedly caught between being themselves, living honorably, or living a life that was lie in order to serve their country. Men and woman who were unfortunately being offered the paradox of which honor do you want, the honor of openly being yourself or the honor of serving your country because we, for some odd reason, in the “home of the brave” couldn’t afford them both.
We have a far many more domestic issues that you can help resolve that are more a threat to national security than who is sleeping with whom. You know how many soldiers I’ve seen leave the Army for homosexuality? None. You know how many good soldiers I’ve seen get kicked out because they had inherited bad lifestyle choices from their parents and society in the ways of food and exercise? Too many to even fucking count, a little fewer than 100 in 12 years in the Army.
I did see one allegedly homosexual soldier get discharged but not because she was a lesbian, even though from all accounts and my own good circumstantial evidence she was and is. This soldier was kicked out because she had a mental and emotional breakdown. She broke down, I’m assuming, because she couldn’t live the lies in both worlds. How often does this happen? How can we force people to live like this? She was forced to hide who she was and could only do it for so long. But those were the rules at the time and we can only operate in the parameters set forth on us by Congress which is set by their constituents, you the American people.
I think we Americans have finally taken a step in the right direction and have done the right thing. I know we in the Army can make it work because we can finally live by our values and apply them always and equally to all of our Soldiers.