A Salute to Gay Veterans and Service Members 

I love to hear a chickenhawk right winger who never had the guts to serve in the military spout his homophobic opinions about gay people in the service. "I wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with one," they say, as they bravely put yet another ribbon magnet on their vehicle. It is pretty obvious, Mr. Chickenhawk that you don't want to be in a foxhole...period. Not with a mouse, not in a house, not here or there not anywhere. The gay thing is just another excuse for your cowardice. It's a good thing the estimated 1,000,000 gay and lesbian veterans served proudly but discreetly or some of those same chickenhawks might have had to suit up.

A recent study estimates there are 65,000 active duty gay service men and women. They still serve under a restrictive "don't ask, don't tell" policy under which they are allowed to join but could be discharged at any time if their sexual orientation is made public.

While working in Iraq, I never heard a soldier mention a fear of homosexuals. I heard complaints about food, accommodations, lack of phones, heat, cold, lack of showers, bad leadership, and various other common criticisms. There were several soldiers who appeared to be gay who did their jobs without problems. Officers and enlisted. I don't think homosexuality is a top ten concern of those serving. I think coming home alive and in one piece is and if your buddy is willing to put his or her life on the line for you and can do the job for which they were trained, then who cares what their sexuality is.

A group of gay service members are suing the U. S. Government over the current policy. I hope these brave men and women win this war, they have served this country bravely and deserve recognition for their sacrifice.

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