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Iraq soldier with Purple Heart is eager to serve – out of the closet

Sgt. Robert Stout: “I know a ton of gay men that would be more than willing to stay in the Army if they could just be open.”

This is amazing news and an opportunity for the Dems to stick it to the White House if they have the freaking balls to do it.

With military recruitment numbers falling through the floor, relaxing educational standards for the National Guard, and a President constantly talking about rewarding service and commitment, what are they going to do with Sgt. Robert Stout and its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? (RedNova):

An Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq wants a chance to remain in the military as an openly gay soldier, a desire that’s bringing him into conflict with the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Sgt. Robert Stout, 23, says he has not encountered trouble from fellow soldiers and would like to stay if not for the policy that permits gay men and women to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation a secret.

…Stout, of Utica, Ohio, was awarded the Purple Heart after a grenade sent pieces of shrapnel into his arm, face and legs while he was operating a machine gun on an armored Humvee last May.

He is believed to be the first gay soldier wounded in Iraq to publicly discuss his sexuality, said Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

We can’t keep hiding the fact that there’s gay people in the military and they aren’t causing any harm,” said Stout, who says he is openly gay among most of his 26-member platoon, which is part of the 9th Engineer Battalion based in Schweinfurt, Germany.

This is an easy slam-dunk for Dems, and I fear they will do absolutely nothing with it. They have been so frightened of anything to do with G-A-Y because of the Right’s ability to smear support for gay Americans as unpatriotic and immoral, even as we see the clear evidence — Halliburton, Tom DeLay, goodness knows a laundry list of Repugs and their projects — that being gay has nothing to do with patriotism or immorality.

Let Chimpy, Rumsfeld and “family man” Scotty McClellan try to spin how Robert Stout, a man that wants to continue to serve, has to be discharged while the coffins keep flying home.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding