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Dan Rackley

Dan Rackley is a US Naval veteran living in Philadelphia and a contributor to "Will They Ever Trust Us Again?"

December 22nd, 2010 10:55 AM

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repealed

But Not Yet

Today in Washington, President Obama officially signed into law the repeal of the seventeen year “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving in the military openly.  Coming right at the tail end of a lame duck Congressional session, this policy is in effect in word if not yet in deed.  Although the president just signed the bill into law a couple of short hours ago; it’s going to take a little bit of time for word to become deed.

Before the guidelines in the new law can be implemented, The Joint Chiefs and the Department of Defense will have to burrow through some of their own red tape to see if enforcing the law will affect unit cohesion and military readiness.  Speaking as someone that has served, I could honestly not have cared less if someone was a homosexual or not.  I mean seriously folks, let’s look at this from a non military level.  Your local firehouse probably has at least one homosexual fireman.  Would it affect your belief that the guy pulling you out of your burning home can actually do it if you found out he was gay?  It wouldn’t.  Homosexuals can pull you out of a burning building just as good as they can fix your car just as good as they can do anything else.  That includes serving in the military.  No sane member of the military would all of a sudden have a fit if they found out that their buddy in their unit that just saved their life was gay.  So quick heads up to the Joint Chiefs, nobody cares if anyone serves openly or if they keep it quiet.  It’s nobody business but theirs.

Pentagon spokespeople have stated that they cannot reasonably put a timeline on when the new policies can be put into place.  How about yesterday?  This is something that has been a long time coming and telling gays and lesbians that they are going to have to wait a little bit longer before they can do something in their heart that they want to do is absolutely ridiculous.  Colonel David Lapan stated that this whole ordeal is something they are going to have to implement carefully and in several stages.  Why does it take the military so long to do something so simple?  You don’t need months of training and tons of materials to get this done and over with.  All you need to do is have one meeting.  Just say what the new rules are and that everyone has to follow them.  You don’t need to have any further debate over where people are going to shower.  I mean, Mcdonald’s takes less time to implement new policies.  If there are any further questions concerning potential sexual harassment against homosexuals, there is already a sexual harassment policy that has been well into place for some time now.  Just add a sentence or two onto the end of that.

The repeal of the “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy will not affect any sort of readiness or cohesion in any way whatsoever.   The only conversation that should end up happening in a military setting should go like this, “Hey Sarge, I’m gay.”  Then the Sarge should just go,”Uh-huh.  Do me a favor, go tighten the bolts on the back rotor of the chopper.”  That’s it.  Beginning, middle and end.  The way our country’s military leaders are going about this is senseless.  It should be a lot simpler than than the way they want to do it.  For the gays and lesbians that want to serve in the military, it’s a lot like giving a little kid a big box for Christmas and then telling them that they can’t open it until fifty people say it’s going to be ok to open it.  That’s just wrong and unfair.  Put this thing into affect now.  The military needs all the people it can get, gay or not.

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