May 14, 2010 at 11:10 am EDT | by Steve Fox
Video: Gay, straight veterans on ‘Don’t Ask’

Veteran’s Lobby Day Reception

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  • I would like to share a poem I sent to all Virginia senators/congressman, Senator Joe Lieberman, The Washington Post, and several other people and even got replies from the senators. John Warner was the most impressive response.

    I Served Beside You

    Remember when you reported to the induction center,
    I sat beside you.
    When the doctor said “bend over,”
    I bent beside you.
    When you drew your uniforms,
    I drew mine beside you.
    When you took your shower in an 8-head open shower room,
    I was at the next shower head beside you.
    When you went to the rifle/grenade ranges,
    I was in a prone position beside you.
    When you were teamed up on bivouac for two-man tents,
    and were told to sleep head to toe,
    You were “6” and I was “9”.
    When you went to Nam (or other wars),
    I sat beside you.
    When you talked about girlfriend(s) or wives,
    I listened.
    When you went to war again,
    I was beside you.
    Wherever you served in the world
    I served proudly and with dignity beside you.
    When you stood in formation to receive the Bronze Star,
    I got mine beside you.
    When you got your second Good Conduct Medal,
    I got my third.
    When you were laid to rest at Arlington,
    I was laid next to you.*
    When you wondered what our differences were,
    You didn’t ask then – I didn’t tell.
    But you are straight and I am not.
    You didn’t care then – why care now?
    Written by A Gay former senior NCO

    * This is the only line of my poem that I actually have not done – yet. I am still alive, but how many thousands of my Gay brothers and Lesbian sisters are laying at Arlington?

    For years White men, women, and Black soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines were forced to live in segregated barracks – now they are all live in harmony in the same building, only separated by “gender”. All of those years have had Gays and Lesbians living, sleeping, showering and eating right beside everyone else. No one asked then – why now? Gays and Lesbians have served in the militaries for centuries. Gays and Lesbians have served proudly, honorably, at all ranks, highly decorated, some were/are actually war heroes. Some of those Gays and Lesbians were and still are more professional than their straight counterparts. Why stop now? Another problem people are worried about is harassment and fraternization; that has been going on, again for centuries, with straight people being the primary perpetrators. How many of those straight people were kicked out for heterosexual harassment of heterosexual’s?

    As Adm. Mullen testified that he has served with people he knew were gay – and served proudly with them, as they were some times better soldiers than straight soldiers were. With the dignified, decorated, and proud prior service of millions of Gay and Lesbians, who needs a “review” or “study” of allowing “American” people to serve openly in the military. You don’t question every military person if they are straight do you? My vote is cut the crap, save the money and time from the “review,” totally destroy the ban and concentrate on ending the wars – not who is fighting and dying in them! This is the year 2010, NOT 1810 or 1910. What are you/we waiting for?

    (I got several comments from the ones I sent this to.)

    Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts of a useless battle, that shouldn’t even be going. When people give up being bigots, this will be a much better world.
    Mr. Lynn Chapman
    (aka “South Dakota Cowboy”)

  • Again, a “key” Democratic senator thinks it’s not time to kill DADT. Fine. There should be no hysterics. No wild carrying on in the streets. No demonstrations in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Ft. Lauderdale, Boston, Seattle, or anywhere else. But, the message should be delivered quietly but very clearly to every Democratic Party official at each governmental level that if they expect any gay or Lesbian money or votes come November, DADT had better be in the dust bin of history by that time.

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