Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday Morning Reading

In my Sunday morning procrastination reading, I came across this article by Nathanial Frank, on the religious-not-so-right's stance on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (the US military's policy on gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender servic members, for my two or three global readers).

Frank has a book coming out which I can't wait to read--"Unfriendly Fire"--about GLBT servicemembers. He has several excellent points to make.

We are wasting human lives and resources and actually undermining our troop morale (try living without being able to be honest about who you love, having to monitor your conversation, having your deepest relationship ignored--or not even being permitted to mention it--and living in fear of being "found out").

My ex-husband was in the US military--yes, I was an Army wife (although I don't recall those 17 years being nearly as dramatic as the TV show...), and I have some understanding about what is needed for troop cohesion, morale, etc. It's about trust. And trust goes both ways--trust that each individual is the unit can be accepted (perhaps with some teasing, that's par for the course) as long as s/he does his/her part. That's called professionalism, and how dare those who would enforce DADT inply that our troops, on a mass scale, are less than professional and well-trained?

Thing is, most of the military leaders of 15-20 years ago were of a generation when it wasn't acceptable to be out; and so their prejudices ruled, as Frank points out. Today, with leaders and troops of a different generation, same-gender-loving mostly gets a shrug--as it should. Of course there are prejudices among the troops--but there were to African-American servicemembers, to Latino servicemembers, and to Asian servicemembers as well--not to mention women. Part of the military experience is learning to simply get the job done without allowing personal issues to get in the way--personal prejudices. That's called professionalism.

I love the Huffington Post...

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