Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Go Ahead…Ask…Tell…

When the sun rose this morning it dawned on a new day for America’s military, as the Draconian Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law that forced military personnel to compromise their honor and integrity by lying, was sent packing. Now, gay and lesbian members of the military, who have always fought to serve, honor, and protect this country, needn’t deny elements of who they are. Shocking, really, that this law was ever enacted, forcing  people who abide by such codes of forthrightness and honesty to actually be dishonest in order to serve. Truly backward.

The military has known for a long time that it was ridiculous practice, and it took far too long to abolish it. The misguided law thwarted promising careers, ultimately compromising the security of our nation. Finally, all who are dedicated to serving can move forward confidently, empowered to do their jobs without having to look over their shoulders at all times. It is throwing off shackles of insecurity and trumped up fear, and without being held down by this misguided practice, all can be united in one goal.

It’s a big day. Similar to the racial de-segregation of troops that happened decades ago, this strengthens the military at a time that the services can no longer afford to be weakened from within.

Semper Fi

American Veterans for Equal Rights

On Veteran’s Day today, it would be such a wise and evolved move for our nation to honor all veterans and all of those who are devoted to serve the nation’s armed forces–and finally repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We are a more advanced country than this rule demonstrates. It makes us a joke and makes the international audience think us weak that our military forces should be so afraid of themselves (and of course, the fighting forces are NOT resistant to us joining the 21st century–the old geezers sitting in their offices are the ones quaking in their orthopedic shoes).

American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is a non-profit, chapter-based association of active, reserve and veteran servicemembers dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Preamble to the National Constitution of American Veterans For Equal Rights

Throughout our history, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit Americans served in the Armed Forces. They took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies both foreign and domestic. We aver that it is the right of these Americans to express personal aspects of their lives, and, in particular, aspects of their sexual orientation and/or gender identification. Furthermore, they should be allowed to do this in an environment free from harassment and discrimination based on prejudice, fear, ignorance, or intolerance in order to fulfill their human potential to the fullest.

Working as individuals or in cohesive units with others while serving our country in either war or peace our members have accumulated distinguished records of military service that demonstrate a resolve and a commitment to cherished American ideals. We are active duty personnel, reservists, and veterans of the United States Air Force, Army, Army Air Corps, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, National Guard, and Navy, or any reserve components thereof, or the various State Militia. In pursuit of common goals we proudly join together as the American Veterans for Equal Rights.

As a nation that currently stifles pride, we dishonor everyone who wears the uniform…today of all days, making it right would be such a stroke of grace and strength–I hope the military brass won’t shrink form their duty of making us the best we can be.

Fleet Week Volunteer Inspiration

It is currently Fleet Week in New York, so there are uniforms everywhere you turn as military men and women get some time in the city, and tend to take advantage of it. It is also a week when the government’s ridiculous and never fair or logical “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law is finally moving closer to being dismantled so the military can finally be proud of everyone dedicated and honorable enough  to want to serve the country in this way and wear the uniform.

As the lead up to Memorial Day, there are lots of inspiring volunteer opportunities with veterans organizations around the world. Here are a few to start your search for your own way to be of service, whether you wear a uniform or civvies.

It’s a Memorial Day tradition to lay wreaths on the graves of veterans, so check with your local American Legion post to find the time and place where you can help in this great honor.

The National Parks Service can use volunteer help any time of year at our nation’s monuments and memorials—pitch in near home or while you are traveling for a holiday weekend.

Did you know that it’s not just the shows and entertainers that volunteer their time to the USO, but all of us from all walks of life can join the effort to give service members a taste of home. Assemble and distribute care packages, meet returning forces at the airport, serve snacks at a USO center, or be a welcomer at a reunion party, library, or free Internet center.

In La Jolla, California, volunteers make up most of the staff at the Mount Soledad Memorial, and you too can help at this war memorial that has honored service members since 1914.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you can spend a week on board a destroyer ship that has been turned into a Naval museum, helping with volunteer maintenance and support—USS Kidd.

*International volunteers work side-by-side with Israel Defense Forces helping keep bases running at top efficiency throughout Israel. The National Council for Volunteering in Israel arranges 2-week postings for you to pitch in while living on base and working with the troops.