I am the last person I ever thought would be writing on this issue. I served in the Army with gays and lesbians while I was in the military. I never saw any conduct by any active duty personnel that would discredit the Army, the Air Force the Marines or the Navy let alone that far smaller branch of the military the US Coast Guard.
We had far more sinister issues to deal with while I was on active duty, drugs, white supremacists, race riots, etc, homophobia was NOT at the top of the list of problems the military had to deal with back then.
I don't remember sitting in any foxholes asking anyone what their sexual preference was, or did they believe in God, I was more worried about the person being high and putting us as risk because they were to stoned to keep quiet. On the DMZ in Korea this could and would get people shot, the medevacs personnel were never asked if they were gay or lesbians just could they save the lives of the personnel put on their copters.
I did have problems at Fort Gordon in 1977 when the medics assigned to the range for hand grenades were so high that when we had a trainee throw a grenade straight up that it came back down into the pit the SSG in the pit threw the trainee out behind the sand bags and he kicked the grenade down into the sump and he took the shrapnel into his lower legs, the medics could not apply the tourniquets, the bandages let alone safely drive the ambulance back to DDEAMC (Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical center) at Fort Gordon, I drove the ambulance and another SSG rode in the back with the wounded range sergeant.
When we arrived at the hospital the only problem the Colonel in charge has was the fact that we had commandeered his ambulance and we were in helmets with weapons in HIS hospital, and until we complied with his orders to explain his doctors would not treat the wounded Sergeant, I asked the hospital Command Sergeant Major call the post Commander and Command Sergeant Major because like I told him it was about to get real ugly.
I threw my helmet at the Colonel and my web gear with my 45 (not loaded) the loaded mags were in my pockets, I demanded doctors attend to the wounded soldier, the Colonel was still being an idiot he got on the phone and called the MPs for me stealing the ambulance, they got there right after the base Commander and the post CSM, the General had heard enough he had the MPs put the Colonel in handcuffs and into their police car, he put a major in Charge of the hospital, he then got doctors to treat the wounded man, then he got statements about the medics that were to stoned to do their jobs, they put mens lives at risk because of their behavior and he relieved the Hospital Commander, Post Commanders are not really in charge of hospitals they are separate commands which happen to be on their bases, but when a 2 star wants a one start removed guess who wins?
The base was soon to receive a hospital commander and the charges against me were never drawn up, there were charges against the medics, and they were demoted and discharged from the Army. It had nothing to do with sexuality, it was due to stupidity and drug crimes.
I do not care about anyone's sexuality, it is time to repeal DADT just because it is the right thing to do, sexuality has nothing to do with doing ones military job, or their functions, at a time when it is hard to get people to re-enlist due to our mis-adventures of the past decade I am tired of the debate.
When we do missions with our allies the British, the Israeli Army, the French, the Germans etc our military members serve with gay and lesbian soldiers from our multi-national partners, why is it okay to serve with foreign gay and lesbians, but NOT American gays and lesbians?
I never had a problem during my past military service from October 1973 thru May 1991, my step father never had a problem from 1941 thru 1963 when he retired, and trust me I heard every opinion that men ever held, I can tell you of all the reasons why he disliked General MacArthur and refused an assignment to the plane the "Bataan" but he saw nothing wrong with serving with gay Air Force men, as long as they did their jobs what they did off duty was their business.
I may not be an expert or a General or have spent the past 30 or 40 years working at some think tank, but for my 2 cents it is past time to end the farce of discharging good military personnel because of their sexual lives.
If you have not called your senator yet regarding this issue please do, if you think it might help e mail them a copy of this
I am not ashamed of my opinion my name is Michael Bailey, US Army 1973 - May 1991 I served from the Vietnam War era, the peacetime Army, the Korean DMZ and the First Gulf War it is time to let ALL Americans serve their nation and quit denying gays and lesbians the privilege of serving this nation openly and honestly and with HONOR they have a right to
This is a civil rights issue