Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | June 2, 2010

In which I discuss some politics

361 days until I can argue politics with my husband in person, something we don’t waste our time talking about when he’s gone as our communication time is so limited.

Lt. Dan Choi well known for being a vocal thorn in the side of those who want to keep DADT has begun a hunger strike in protest of the compromise bill currently working it’s way through Congress.  Capt. Jim Piterangelo is also joining him in the Dignity Fast.

Their demands to end the fast are:

  • (1) End DADT firings.

  • (2) Enact non-discrimination.

  • (3) End the insulting, wasteful study.

My take, and I know I’ve never served there is no need to remind me that I don’t really count, is that making someone lie about who they love is wrong.  There is something very wrong with making someone lie about the most important person in their life.  There is something wrong with our country telling someone who is willing to do the job that they are not allowed because of who they love. When you read about what has happened to  people who’ve been fired solely for being gay, it is very hard to not be moved.  This story in particular moved me.  He’s home on R&R with his love, heading back to Baghdad, his unit knows he’s gay, and are making him finish the deployment before firing him.  He’s good enough to serve in war, but not in peace.  He has one year left before his time is up and he can leave honorably. That just sickens me.

I do not agree with everything Lt. Choi does. He has worn his uniform several times to political activities.  I have a real problem with that.  Don’t politicize the uniform. Both the men participating in this fast were recently arrested, in uniform, for chaining themselves to the White House fence.  Chain yourself to any fence you want, but don’t wear your uniform while you do it. I mean, even Sarah Palin’s son didn’t wear his uniform when she accepted the Vice Presidential nomination, and you KNOW there were neo cons just dying because they didn’t get a shot of him on stage in uniform.

I am worried for Lt Choi.  I see some of his demands as unobtainable.  A non-discrimination clause would mandate that the service let anyone in.  Forrest Gump was a nice movie, but I see a lot of possibility for exploitation in allowing people who don’t have a minimum IQ.  I’m all for religious freedoms, but I have a problem with the military bending the rules on religious expression to allow sikhs into the service, while a Muslim who wants to serve and wear a hijab can’t. Are we now going to have to have an ADA type rules in the military? I’m really sorry, I don’t want my husband serving with someone who can’t fulfill the essential mission of the job.  I’d like the guy to his right to be able to shoot, and the guy to his left to be able to stand for more than 20 minutes.  Will they have to remodel a submarine to accommodate a person in a wheel chair?  These scenarios all come to pass with a non-discrimination clause. I do not want to see him die because of this hunger strike, but I see it happening, because I don’t see all his demands as being able to be met.

I do however fully support lifting DADT.  It shouldn’t matter.  In a perfect world, the SO of a soldier who is homosexual would also be able to have his partner live on base, but I know that’s not going to happen.  I’d settle for someone being able to put his partner on DEERS so that if something happens to the soldier, his partner is notified. I’m talking about something very basic here.  I am the one who will get a knock on my door if, God forbid, something happens.  That same privilege  terror nightmare should be extended to a gay couple.  It would be very hard to hope that my love’s family, who I might be estranged from, would notify me. SGLI issues also come into play here.

Some of the concerns that people against ending DADT have raised are ridiculous. With the rules about uniform dress, there are not going to all the sudden be an Army of Corporal Klingers. No, the Army song won’t suddenly change to something sung by Liza Minelli.  However a soldier may feel more free to listen to her.

Just as when the service racially integrated, there will be problems.  Just as they still do in today’s military, racists caused problems.  They still do.  Yes, there are radical homophobes who will fight this, but hey… we have a LT Colonel refusing to deploy because he thinks President Obama isn’t really the president.  With planning, preparation, education, and time, I see that the integration of open homosexuals into the service being as much a non issue in 10 years as racial integration is today. Many counties already have an integrated military. It can very much be done.

My husband doesn’t agree with me on this.  I love him dearly, but he’s a bit homophobic.  My take, I’d rather have my husband serve with an active homosexual than with some woman of questionable morals looking to get some of his paycheck or “help” his morale.  I know my husband isn’t going to be tempted by a gay man in his barracks.

Sorry for all the Wikipedia links.  I was really lazy on my research when I wrote this.

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Responses

  1. Well put! Thank you for your service as a spouse and for telling your story. I’m adding you to my blogroll, if that’s okay.

  2. I’d love it to have you add me to your blog roll, and I will do the same. Thanks for the link!

  3. I am honored that you found my blog CJ. I read about your blog and what happened to you in in the Army Times. I just realized who you are after I clicked on your link. You putting a link to my blog on yours is very much an honor. Thank you.

  4. The honor is mine, truly. How is your husband doing?

  5. If you email me his mailing address, I’ll make sure he and his guys are taken care of with care packages and letters!

  6. Will do on the address. My husband’s doing ok. He’s pretty homesick. He’s trying to keep his spirits up. Worry about the unknown and all that.


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