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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

March 21, 2010

DADT: Don't Ask Don't Tell

I served from 2004 to late 2009. During those 5 1/2 years I served with three homosexual men. Not all of them were in my exact unit, but I knew them. At first, being a new soldier, I had a problem with gays in the military. Then, with some experience, I learned it really didn't matter. Maybe the Army was different at one time, but now we like to throw around a bunch of gay jokes and even act gay in an exaggerated manner in order to be funny; lightens the emotional load. It occurred to me that we're being hypocrites. What exactly is the difference between a straight guy pretending to be gay for the purposes of satire, and a real gay person? The real gay guy doesn't even act "gay," at least not in the way we're referring. He just likes other men. So this one gay guy does something in private that we don't... Who cares? Why is this such a divisive issue?

I no longer saw the merit in the DADT policy, and if anything, I thought it was only making the problem worse. If you have a real problem with gays serving in the military then you restrict them, you don't turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. We don't do that for any other divisive factor within the service. Why this? It made sense that the only reason for the dismissal of public gays was because some conservative jackasses were homophobic. That's it. I came out and explained my position on gays serving in the military and at first I got a lot of shit for it. It was obvious to me that I was on the unpopular side of the argument. But for me, an liberal atheist, that's pretty much what I'm used to. So I didn't care.

Eventually, my closest buddies came to me and explained that they were on my side of the argument as well; they just didn't ever say so. Then a few guys came to me and told me that they were gay and wanted to thank me for what I said. It surprised me. Some of the guys I'd never expect were gay, actually were gay! Good soldiers. It changed my tune for good. I don't care who I fight beside, just as long as he/she can fight.

Someone once asked me "What's the gayest you can be without actually being gay?" I tell them "Well, you could always join the infantry."

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