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Purple Heart-awarded soldier discharged for coming out of the closet


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

As House Blender Misty said, “This kid wanted to keep serving–but apparently the military only gives you a gun if you keep it in the closet.”

Back in April I posted about Sgt. Robert Stout (Iraq soldier with Purple Heart is eager to serve – out of the closet). Today, in what is absolutely no surprise, the Army tossed this American hero out.

…Stout, 23, was awarded the Purple Heart after a grenade sent shrapnel into his arm, face and legs while he was using a machine gun on a Humvee in May 2004. Stout, of Utica in central Ohio, told The Associated Press in April that he wanted to remain in the military and be openly gay, but that would conflict with the
Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Stout said he was openly gay among most of his 26-member platoon, part of the 9th Engineer Battalion based in Germany. Army officials at the Pentagon could not immediately confirm the discharge. The Army declined to comment earlier on the case other than to say that soldiers discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” typically receive honorable discharges.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding