The debate on the repeal of 'Don't ask, Don't Tell' has reached such heights of ridiculousness that I have come to the point that I feel I have to comment on it here. I have watched with great interest the hearing in Congress regarding the issue. Opponents of repeal continue to beat the drum that homosexuality among the troops is a 'readiness' issue. I have heard it time and time again. For the uninitiated, 'readiness' includes anything that may prevent an individual servicemember or an entire unit from being prepared to deploy within its timetable to anyplace in the world. This may include medical issues, lack of required training, equipment or supply shortages of all types, or even the lack of a guardian for children of single soldiers.
The opposition argument holds that open homosexuality in the military will cause our troops to spend more time worrying about if the guy or girl next to them wants to have sex with them instead of focusing on their mission. As someone who spent almost a decade in military service, including multiple such deployments and two tours in Iraq, this argument is completely without merit and is an absolute insult to our military.
As a soldier, one spends every day training for the possibility of war in any possilble condition in any type of environment. You spend every day either training yourself for combat or preparing your equipment for combat. That is what a soldier does: hope for peace, but prepare for war. Soldiers train to do their jobs in the most austere of conditions under the most stressful of circumstances. To say that anything will distract an American soldier from their job in combat after they have trained for it for years is an absolute insult to them. The troops I know will spend all night at the hospital with a shot up buddy and be ready to roll out on patrol again the next morning without being a step off of their game.
I served with guys I knew were homosexuals. I served with guys I was pretty sure were homosexuals. I am sure I served with others I had no idea were homosexuals. The point is this, and I hope that the homosexuals I know will excuse the use of the slanderous words that follow:
Any man or woman who served this country in the uniform of its military has purchased a share in it which they have paid for in blood, sweat, and tears. Though homosexuality may make many uncomfortable, someone who has fought alongside their bretheren in combat and shared in their losses and sorrows and even made the ultimate sacrifice has earned the right to continue to wear the uniform of this country. It is especially unfit for those who have never worn the uniform or fought to tell these brave young men and women that they cannot. Any man or woman, gay, straight, or otherwise, who served is entitled to do whatever they want because they have earned that right through taking action when others did not.
The most ignorant and ugly form of the argument is that 'hey, I don't want any fags here.' My answer to this is anyone who will go out and fight, and die, and kill, and sacrifice, and spill their own guts for this country is no 'fag.' That may not be politically correct but there it is. If you run into a homosexual who served in the military, you'd better not call him 'fag': you better just call him 'Sir'. And to the gay and lesbian soldiers I served with, keep on: this country needs you.