So, there was an article on CNN.com about how the military is considering repealing it’s ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy concerning gay and lesbian men and women in the service. One of my best friends (who it might be helpful to know, is in fact gay) fwd’d this article to me with some exasperation, and the sentiment, ‘it’s about time’.
I responded. But I also wanted to post my response here. I recognize that my flsit consists of people who have diverse opinions on many a subject, and mayhap on this one as well. I completely respect diverse opinions, as I respect my flist. Please make sure your responses, whether positive or negative, are respectful.
The Email Response:
You know though, it dawns on me that this might have a greater impact than the obvious, and perhaps a greater impact than the funadmentalists have considered. Because it’s not just about allowing a gay person to live in an open way in a certian arena…. No, no, no.
It’s the Military.
The first 5-10 years will be rough, and I can hear it from people like my father even now, but in ten years, you’re going to have Veterans who are openly gay – a lot of them, and you’re going to have Veterens who’s best buddy was openly gay, and Veterans hold their army buddies in pretty high esteem all throughout their lives. (Army, navy, airforce… Ykno. I think it’ll be a harder go for the Marines, the Seals and the Grenen Berets, or whatever that group is now called, and it might take twice as long to normalize, but it’ll happen.) In twenty years you’re going to have Retired Officers who are openly gay. I don’t know if you noticed, but a huge portion of our government is made up of Retired Military Officers. And those who aren’t actually governing are usually consulting. They are our leaders, or a fair portion of them.
(Is it any wonder my dad was thrilled when I wanted to go to the Naval Academy?)
That, my friend, is going to change the culture of our country faster than legislation. At that point, the legistators are going to catch up. Because… these are the people who have risked their lives for us, for democracy, for the freedom of the world, and now we are going to deny them the legal privledges of marriage, of maintinaing a household and a family, a life together with the one they love, we are going to deny them the fundamental right of being part of a generative couple? Now that they’re staid and old and a three star general? Now that they seem just like you or me, and they have a purple heart and a silver star? Harder to discriminate against them when they’re taking bullets and driving tanks than when they’re eating granola and protesting on the lawn.
Behold, the power of the US Military. Doves may scoff, but come on, the power is there – we could use it! …Okay, now I feel like Boromir and the Ring.
Sare, stepping away from world domination… but there’s still a glint in her eye…