Thread started: Jul 8 2008, 6:33 PM EDT
In 1984 I joined the U.S. Army as a 74D10 Computer Machine Operator. While, I still had to qualify at weapons training, including rifle (Expert), and handgrenade (Sharpshooter) and spend two weeks out of the year in the field. My combat readiness was to be evacuated from my underground computer listening post and whisked away to Frankfurt to catch a flight further from the Eastern Bloc. I served my country for three years without any negative discipline. I excelled at my job and rose to the rank of Specialist Four within 15 months, (normal TOS for E-4 rank was 24 months). I scored in the top 97th percentile or higher on my military qualifications tests. I maxed out the physical training exam. I was... upon enlisting, a virgin. 3 years into my service after I turned 21 I had sex with a man for the first time. Eventually, the witch hunters came around asking questions (a jealous soldier, I didn't want to sleep with turned my name in) I thought about lying but realized that I would be providing the military with proof that I could not be trusted simply because I was homosexual. After 3 years and 7 months of distinguished and honorable service (according to all the medals and commendations I received) I was discharged permanently from the military on grounds of homosexuality. I was one of the lucky ones, I did receive an honorable discharge, basically because I'd not even had sex when I signed the papers to enlist. Other young soldiers --prior to don't ask don't tell-- were jailed, imprisoned, and immediately discharged dishonorably on grounds of homosexual sodomy. "Don't ask, don't tell." was supposed to prevent these witch hunts, but they still go on to this day. Even if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" were followed to the letter of the law by all parties involved, it basically tells our American soldiers --sworn to uphold the UCMJ-- that it's okay to lie to military authorities--sometimes.
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