This has been a big year for the American military. 2011 brought to us the end of the Iraq War and the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Whether the war was actually worth it or not has yet to be determined but one thing is for certain, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a major victory for the Gay and Lesbian community.
Our brothers and sisters can now be recognized and proud to serve in the military. No more will they have to hide in shame for fear of losing their careers. No more will they have to cower in silence and creep in the shadows with the ones they love. It was high time that the very people willing to lay their lives on the line for freedom were accepted for who they are, not who they bed.
The military has suffered many blunders and mistakes these past 10 years. The eradication of such an unjust law doesn’t make up for them by any means, but it sure does get them going in the right direction. It’s astounding that it took so long!
I can’t help but wonder what will be next for the tried and true men and women in uniform… Will they grant adoptions for same sex couples in the military? Will they recognize woman more for their valiant efforts as soldiers? Will they recognize woman more for their valiant efforts as soldiers? I have a small glimmer of hope that the U.S. military won’t be such an unforgiving patriarchal society anymore. And maybe, just maybe, those who may be a little different from the beaten path will feel more welcome to join and serve this country.
I have a younger brother who is in the Army. After serving two years in Iraq, he has now settled down with his wife in Colorado and they are thinking about starting a family. Justin never, in his naivety, recognized the difference of the person next to him in combat. He has never cared whether or not they took a man home with them at night. All he knew was that these were his brothers who were willing to die to protect him.
So when DODT was brought up again on such a massive scale, he didn’t understand what the big deal was. He was so nonchalant about the whole situation that he didn’t even realize how important it was to have the freedom to be who you were. Once he realized the bigger picture, he gained a lot more respect for those who had to hide who they were. Because those who had to hide who they were inside wouldn’t hide when it came to laying themselves on the line so another brother and soldier might live to see another day. It was that simple.
To all the soldiers hugging their spouses and children for the first holiday in a long time, I salute you.