Retired military officer: it's time to end DADT
Dan Crewe, a 20-year veteran who proudly served his country, has an op-ed in the Maine Sunday Telegram, U.S. needs our gay, lesbian patriots, that eloquently calls for the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
He spent two years in the Naval Reserve, four years at the U.S. Naval Academy, three years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force and ten years in the Air Force Reserve — all in the misery of the closet.
During the nearly 20 years I served in the armed forces, however, I was always aware of a different kind of danger line. I am a gay man, and each day I faced the possibility of being discharged simply because of who I am.
…One revelation about my sexual orientation, however, would have made all those years irrelevant. In an instant, my dedication to our country would have taken a back seat to my sexual orientation.
…I was always aware that I was hiding something, and constantly deceiving my colleagues. My partner became my “cousin,” and my true weekend activities were edited and filtered to make me seem something I am not.
I also knew my career was in constant jeopardy, not because I was unqualified, but because I am gay.
In the end, enough was enough. I resigned from the Air Force Reserve as a captain in 1970; I could no longer walk that danger line. If my country had simply welcomed me for what I am, however, things may have turned out very differently.
It’s good to see more and more former and current service members coming forward to speak out against DADT.
Rebecca Sawyer of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) passed on word that the rock band BETTY (of The L Word theme fame) will be performing at the SLDN national dinner this Saturday. The group will be honored for “their longtime commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”
Tickets to the SLDN 14th annual national dinner are still available.
Also in the spotlight at the dinner are Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Ret.), Iraq war veteran Brian Fricke and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. I’ll be live-blogging the event, which will be held at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.