Comment of the Day: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Worry Anymore

I can’t really add anything to this; it is a perfect comment, from a hero who prefers not to use his real name, for obvious reasons. This man has my total respect, and I’m very, very glad that Canada hasn’t had such a nefarious policy as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

I spent twenty years in the military and every day I feared being found out. Yet, every time I had the opportunity to get out, I did not until I completed enough time to retire. It sounds like bullshit, I know, but I really felt the need and desire to serve our country. My civilian gay friends always kidded me about being in the service (trust me in my case anyways being at sea was no sexual picnic – think 2 months without leaving your office and co-workers). They chided me as well for being in an environment that didn’t want me. But I truly felt the need to stay and serve as a good example for others. I survived at least three investigations that I knew of along as a couple of security clearance checks, including one for top secret clearance.

I like to think that I survived because I was a good trooper, a patriot. But I also survived because I was surrounded by officers and non-coms who believed in me. One day when I was a junior petty officer on Governors Island, my boss, a lieutenant commander pulled me aside and said, Look, you are probably gay, but my advice to you is this: don’t eat where you sh*t. We both laughed, but I took his point to heart. In or out of the military, gay or straight, you don’t fool around at work, period, and I carried this with me until the end of my career.

I had numerous gay friends throughout my military career. I wish I had been able to connect with others to commiserate, but the fear of being seen with any of those guys… I couldn’t get over it. And now, on the eve of the end of DADT, I don’t know what became of so many of those guys. Several are dead, dying from AIDS in 80s and 90. The others, I hope they are like me tonight, thinking of the groundwork we laid all those years.

Right now, a friend of mine in the Army is celebrating his engagement to his partner of many years – a partner who had to keep his relationship secret while my friend was in Afghanistan and Iraq on multiple tours. This day is a great victory for them and for all of us who love our country and want to serve in its defense.

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25 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Worry Anymore

  1. Pingback: Afternoon Links: Lea Michele and Theo Stockman Part Ways

  2. DO IT!

    I’m a peacenik, god knows, but I completely support the rights of all people to serve their country in this way and be respected for it. Prying into consentual sexual matters is undignified and unbefitting a great republic like the United States.

  3. dont ask, dont tell..
    why fear something, when that something you naturally dont have any control over.
    its not at anybody’s fault, nor yours.
    hiding that “something” just means hiding your true-self.
    but embracing your respect and love for the military and your country
    proves and says something about yourself.\
    and why do YOU have to PROVE this to EVRY1?
    as quoted, “But I truly felt the need to stay and serve as a good example for others.”
    examples to others, by who? straight people? why does this social media, see these people as “different” ?
    we should be INDIFFERENT. we are neither good or bad, we are average! like everone else. but whomes eyes see difference.. and are prejudice, just will never truly be able to accept life and see how beautiful life really is.. with open eyes.
    you dont have to feel like you need to set an example..
    you are the living real deal who appreciates life and love and no matter what the
    consequences are. you believe and fight for your country
    and that shows alot of things as dignity, GREAT morals, self pride and confidence and just someone who you loves there country, thats all…

    why do people need the the mentality to retaliate all the time?

  4. Why do you find this to be a huge deal?
    That I have improper typing skills?

    <<—your kinda rude.. doncha. think?"–"?

    Obviously, just speaking my mind. Clearly, you dont appreciate this.

  5. I’m not finding it a huge deal. I just find it risible.

    It’s “you’re”. Using appalling English is considered impolite as well, unless you are mentally handicapped or English is not your normal language. Obviously you have the ability to use nearly-proper English. That you didn’t think the four million readers of this blog deserved that courtesy says volumes about you.

    Welcome to my blog. Deal with it.

  6. Alright, well I did not no freedom of speech in, anyway, was yes, in reasonable?
    I was only speaking what I felt. Sorry, that such english figuration had to come off as “impolite” and nearly being “mentally-handicapped.” I did not click that my grammar had huge impact in posting comments on your blog. If I only knew I needed an A+ in English and a achievable IQ of 190, I wouldn’t of commented on your blog. I’m very sorry to all the “four million readers,” that had to read my appelling, in-appropreate comment. Sorry world.
    Moreover, I must in a grieving way, have to say that I did enjoy writing “dont ask, dont tell..” own comment, on this page.

    Please blog more!
    If one accepts the other <3

  7. I don’t even know what “well I did not no freedom of speech in, anyway, was yes, in reasonable?” means.

    Slow down, try not to be garbled, and Use Your Words. If it’s hard, you’re supposed to pay more attention.

    But seriously, I can tell you have something strong and heartfelt to say here. I can also tell that when you slow down and take your time, it comes out in perfect English. I think you owe it to the depth of your feeling and thought to take that care with your language, because otherwise people can and will dismiss you as a lightweight.

  8. Thank-you, Ms or Mrs, per say in English habitance.
    Does not matter how I write, but how I feel and speak towards the blog.
    Everyone will still understand, how I feeel and think.
    Isn’t that what matters?

  9. No.

    Nobody can make head or tail out of that sentence I quoted above.

    It’s completely selfish to say spelling doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you don’t care about other people, just about getting it off your chest. It does matter, in fact it’s critical, if you want other people to read what you write and think about it.

    If we can’t figure out what you’re talking about, how can we agree with you?

  10. WHY ARE YOU BEING SUCHA CRITICAL BITCH?
    My “English” makes sence. Your were obviously one of those girls in gr.12, who are book worms and are picky with nicks and nacks there..why?
    WHY>? who gives a fuck. you tell another reader to read my comment..yes it will make sence to them. Why are you being so stern about this?
    They probably can agree with me. But, it’s you , who does not want too. Shame?
    Yes.
    Btw, not only is it not selfish, but its sad to see that you are really taking this message as so personal. Spelling, yes it does matter. To some (you) its personal, and im sorry that (your) having to think that way, yes probably, makes the brain vommit.
    Accept everyone for who they are, not as they write.
    Accept those who (want and try) to accept you.
    I am. But, your not letting me.
    You do not need to come off as a perfectionist bitch to try and act as a
    wannabe English critic.
    Is this so hard to come by?
    Jeez.

  11. Are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    It’s an interesting psychological trick whereby stupid or incompetent people convince themselves they’re super-competent and the problem lies with the rest of the world.

    Along with other mental illnesses, it should evoke pity instead of mockery, but hell, I just can’t help myself.

    I accept you as you are: a subliterate, self-centered, Oprah wannabe with hostility issues and deep-seated (and well-founded) insecurities. Why must you persist in imagining yourself to be something you’re not? You should love yourself as you are.

    And you should stop commenting here if you can’t do it properly.

  12. Eleventy eleven years ago the non-euclidean Lovecraft was born and under the uncoloured spaces he inhabited we should all be kind to our local Shoggoths. Their hostility issues are instinctual and their insecurities are at one with all who live close to R’lyeh. Even when their name is Xtatiana.

  13. GENIOUS YOU TOO… GENIOUS… I applaude.
    To take something so under the belt and exaggerate the flaws of my grammar to try and embarrass me to the point i feel near worthless.
    NOT. Archiearchive FCD I KNOW what your “trying” to say and Raincoaster how the hell am i being self-centered and imagining somethihng that I am not? You just do not wish to accept how I feel. You dont wish to understand and cope what it really means to read a comment of a blog.
    Again im sorry i need a 190 IQ to post comments on here.
    archiearchive FCD- ha this includes you as well..
    “The shoggoths built the underwater cities of their masters. Over millions of years of existence, some shoggoths mutated and gained independent minds. Some time after this, they rebelled. Eventually, the Elder Things succeeded in quelling the insurrection, but thereafter watched them more carefully. By this point, exterminating them was not an option as the Elder Things were fully dependent on them for labor and could not replace them. It was during this time that, despite their masters’ wishes, they demonstrated an ability to survive on land.”
    I know this story.please.. dont take me as stupid and granted as you think I am.
    Your just a follower. Sush your mouth. Try and stand on your own ground and not be a follower of you so called “website-blogger” friend Raincoaster.
    Trying to relate me to some mythical monster story.. PROUD ON YOU.

    Ridiculous. Im accepting, pathetic.

  14. @ xtatiana Thank you for recognising my genious. Just to be clear, I follow no one. I walk alongside my friends. Unless they own chihuahuas. Then they are not my friends. On a more important subject, has your soul been eaten by the unspeakable horror from R’yleh. Until that has happened you will not know the true peace of soullessness.

  15. Back to the subject matter of the blog… I wholeheartedly agree and think it’s shameful that so many (let’s face it) right-wing republicans and conservative so-called loving christians (deliberate lower case c) are stuck with such narrow-minded and ancient thinking. As many others do, I point to only 40 years ago (less in some parts) that those ‘blacks’ were beneath societal acceptance, rights and honour/honor regardless of their service, loss or bravery – in life as well as in any military organization.

    I do hope this is a change in the way of thinking, for the better, not for more witch hunts.

    Thanks raincoaster!!

  16. I can’t take credit for the original post. All respect to that sailor.

    And I second everything you’ve said. James Carville said the reason he supports government initiatives instead of being Libertarian is that when he was growing up, everybody was wrong and the government was right, and he only found that out by going in the Marines, where he had to serve side-by-side with black people and found that the government’s desegregation policies were actually morally superior to what he’d been brought up with.

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