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Opinion

Opinion

New policy on gays could devastate military

December 7, 2010

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People who take polls for a living will tell you that depending on the methodology, the sample, how a question is asked and the understanding of the ones being polled, the outcome can pretty much be predetermined.

If you are dependent on a superior for your job and that superior tells you he wants a certain conclusion reached about a policy he wishes to implement, that, too, can affect the outcome.

Such is the case with President Obama, who has told gay rights groups he intends to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. From the comments by Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, it appears the president’s message has placed their job security above what is best for the military and the country. Many lower-ranking officers do not share their opinion about the effects openly gay service members would have on our military.

The Pentagon poll touted by Gates and Mullen was “rigged,” said a recent editorial in The Washington Times, which noted, “From the outset, the Pentagon had no interest in eliciting honest responses from the troops about whether the law ... should be preserved or repealed. Instead, soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines were addressed in terms of implying that repeal is inevitable.”

Furthermore, said the newspaper, “63 percent of respondents live off-base or in civilian housing and consequently answered that a change in policy might not affect them. Those in combat roles — where unit cohesion and trust are life-and-death concerns — gave a different response.”

Of all the arguments made by the Obama administration for repealing the law, the one mentioned by Secretary Gates is the least defensible. Gates said Congress had better act before the law was “imposed immediately by judicial fiat.” Perhaps Gates should re-read the Constitution, especially the part about the separation of powers. Article 1, Section 8 empowers Congress to make rules for the government and regulate land and naval forces. A National Review Online editorial labeled Gates’ comment, “... blackmail via judicial imperialism.”

What is more likely to happen if the policy is reversed is that tens of thousands of those currently in service will retire, or quit. During Senate Armed Services Committee hearings last week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cited another Pentagon survey, which found that repealing the ban could create an “alarming” troop retention problem at a time when the military is already shorthanded.

McCain said, “If 12.6 percent of the military left earlier, that translates into 264,600 men and women who would leave the military earlier than they had planned.” McCain wondered if that is a “good idea in a time of war.” The question should answer itself.

Gates and Mullen suggest that the troops can be conditioned into accepting openly gay service members. Would that include chaplains and religious soldiers for whom homosexual behavior is thought to be a sin? Will chaplains be disciplined if they counsel someone who is gay that they can change and be forgiven, just as heterosexuals who engage in sex outside of marriage can also repent and discover a new path? This proposed change in the law has more of a “fundamentalist” tone than fundamentalism. Submit, or else.

Why are we witnessing so many challenges to what used to be considered a shared sense of right and wrong? It is because we no longer regard the Author of what is right. Loosed from that anchor, we drift in a sea of personal “morality,” deciding for ourselves what we want and ought to do and defying anyone who shouts “wrong way” as a fascist imposer of their personal beliefs.

The military is one of our primary national underpinnings. So is marriage. No wonder the gay rights movement seeks to undermine both. There are consequences when foundations are destroyed. The Congress has a duty to save us from the pursuit of our lower nature if we won’t listen to that other voice. If they care.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. tmseditors@tribune.com

Comments

denak 3 years, 9 months ago

The gay rights movement does not seek to undermine (destroy in Cal Thomas speak) the military or marriage. The gay rights movement seeks to become part of the military and marriage. They seek only to have the same rights extended to them that are given automatically to others in this country.

If our military has a retention problem, it is not because, all of a sudden, gay people can serve openly it is because we have been embroiled in a "war on terror" for the last 8 years that has deployed service members over and over and over.

As a result, divorce is at an all-time high in the military. If Cal Thomas really was concerned about both the military and marriage, he should welcome an opportunity that allows able bodied men and women to serve without the fear of being discharged over a characteristic that has absolutely no baring on a person's ability to fire a weapon.

Dena

Vet who supports the end of DADT.

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Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

If a person is a capable soldier, then he/she/it should be allowed to be a soldier and not hide his/her/its sexual orientation. If something as irrelevant as allowing gays to admit their lifestyle is going to destroy our military, it isn't much of a military is it?

OTOH, marriage has a definition, the union of a man and woman. I don't think we need to change the meaning of words to accommodate anyone. The government shouldn't be in the "marriage" business at all. They should instead certify civil unions of straight people, gay people, polygamists and whatever else is out their that wants to form a union. Marriage should be left to churches or similar operations.

"They seek only to have the same rights"

That's a fail. Gays already have the same rights as everyone regarding marriage. What you are seeking to do is modify the right by effectively redefining the definition of marriage. That's all well and good until someone wants to redefine it again to include polygamist or remove age or species restrictions.

You get to be king for a minute. At what point do YOU say "no more redefinition!". Be careful with the answer though, you might find it to be a gauge of your own bigotry.

I am a vet. I was a combat soldier, just in case any nosy people care.

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree that civil unions for all would be the best/simplest solution.

If consenting adults is the standard, though, polygamy shouldn't be a problem if all are adults who consent, but age and species concerns are unwarranted since the standard is obviously not met there.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Generally, I agree. However, I expect the young girls in Hildale, UT would take exception to your statement that polygamist marriages involve consenting adults.

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I said "if" a polygamous marriage consists of consenting adults, then it shouldn't be an issue.

Otherwise, of course it is, but would be if one underage girl married one adult male as well.

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Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

OK. Not a bad answer. But keep in mind that age and species are "standards" that can be changed just like gender..

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

But the idea of consent is the standard.

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denak 3 years, 9 months ago

As far as the state is concerned, all marriages are already CIVIL union. Marriage falls under the jurisdiction of civil law.

So, if you want to call it marriage or a civil union, the state doesn't really care what you call it as long as you sign that marriage or "civil union" liscense.

Lastly, you lost the argument the moment you compared gay marriage to beastiality. I don't think I have to worry what others will think of this answer, for no other reason, than they are going to be absolutely stunned that you can compare two adult individuals who want to make a committed, consenual commitment to each other to an act of violence against an animal.

Is that what you think gay people are.... animals???

Dena

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

I don't think jafs was comparing gay people to animals. Merely pointing out that the issue is consent, and minors, and yes animals, obviously can't consent, so the idiots who claim gay marriage will lead to people marrying their dogs are morons.

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks.

That's exactly my point.

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Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"Lastly, you lost the argument the moment you compared gay marriage to beastiality."

If the animal is a willing participant, how is it an act of violence?

Anyway, if you can't grasp the underlying abstraction, that is your failure, not mine.

"Is that what you think gay people are.... animals???"

Ummmm, yes. All humans are animals. How do you not know that?

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

No Gandalf, the military's primary purpose is to defend and uphold the constitution of the United States. The constitution that guarantees equal protection and all that other liberal mumbo jumbo.

In 1947 the opinion of most members of the military was probably in favor of segregation. Too bad, they had to adjust. Civil rights aren't subject to popular opinion. They will adjust again, and if they can't they will leave the service.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Sorry Gandalf. Your arguments fail on all points. Libra covered one aspect. Here's another: "Combat military is not the place for them. 22 of the 26 NATO nations have gays in their military. The Israeli military, considered one of the most professional, kick-ass combat military in the world, has gay soldiers. You need to lose all the misinformed, prejudicial baggage you carry my friend.

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

History. And the fact that we have an all volunteer military. If your morals are offended by military policy then you get out. No one can force you to serve next to any one you're offended by, once you've finished out your enlistment time.

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

If our infantry grunts are more concerned with who someone is sleeping with than how they do their job, then they aren't going to be a very good soldier. Good riddance.

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

Sure I do and I apparently have more faith than you do that our military is not made up of a bunch of small minded bigots. You either follow orders and fight for and with the soldiers around you or you get out. With the sink hole our economy is in we don't currently have a shortage of enlistees, there will always be some one to replace those that can't follow orders.

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Sean Livingstone 3 years, 9 months ago

Gandalf, given your analysis, I think it's also pretty dangerous to sent our women into combat. You know other countries treat women like second class, and they'll probably face rape or humiliation... which means combat military is also not the place for them either? Women are less violent than men (count the total number of prisoners and criminals, you'll get it). So women are not supposed to serve in combat either. Wow, I sound so..... 1800s... do I?

So base on your analysis, gays have problems serving in combat because they normally hold opinions that run contrary to combat military? Where do you get that? You mean all gays are liberals? I'm very very sure you can also find meat eating, murderous, conservative and gun loving gays too. I don't understand where you get your opinions from.... maybe something you gather before the age of 18, and you call that common sense..... Cheers.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

The one basic purpose of the military it is to protect. The military have died, killed, served, sacrificed but their purpose , their main purpose, is to protect and serve. I honor that sacrifice and service. You should talk to your commanding officer if you think the main purpose of the military is to kill.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

denak You are a vet? What did you do in the Military? Are you gay? Were you a combat troop? Or did you fly a desk?

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denak 3 years, 9 months ago

Top Jayhawk

Are you a vet?

What did you do in the military?

Are you gay?

Were you a combat troop? Or did you fly a desk?

Wow, that was fun. Of course, none of it has anything to do with the subject at hand so perhaps you should stick to the subject and offer an opinion on DADT.

Dena

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libertarianjim 3 years, 9 months ago

Get out there and get shot at by the enemy, unless of course you're gay. If your gay, we want you dead, not just in an honorable way.

John McLame

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grimpeur 3 years, 9 months ago

If you're gay, we want you dead, not just in an honorable way.

Sam Brownback

There. Fixed it for ya!

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libertarianjim 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks, but I would call it a nice addition.

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usnsnp 3 years, 9 months ago

Cal, wake up. I am a 31 year vet of the Navy, retired in 1987, even back then we knew who was gay and we did not care as long as the person did their job. This argument about mass numbers of people leaving the military is the same thing that was said then the military was integrated and when women started to serve on ships and fly military aircraft.

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grammaddy 3 years, 9 months ago

This is BS! Gays are already serving but you don't know who most of them are. How can we continue to ask these brave men and women to continue risking the ultimate sacrifice but not allow them to be their authentic selves?

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

The obvious point you miss is that there are plenty of gay and lesbian folks in the military right now, showering, etc. with straight ones.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

It's been a bit longer than that, Py. Oscar Wilde was jailed for two years for being gay in 1895. It left him a broken and bankrupt man. No, Wilde was never in the military but it's a good example of the Victorian attitude toward homosexuality that carries over to this day.

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JJE007 3 years, 9 months ago

Cal Thomas... Wow. What an idiot. No more polls for you, mister Christian.

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BorderRuffian 3 years, 9 months ago

Quoted from the article: "Gates and Mullen suggest that the troops can be conditioned into accepting openly gay service members."

Sure - just like you can condition homosexuals to become hetero. Simply cramming an agenda down anyone's throat won't bring about the utopian world you think eberyone prefers.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

That's not a gene. He got dropped on hid head too many times.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

Why do conservatives have to repeat themselves so often? No one cares. There are genes for nearly every aspect of your personality, but they are an influence. Squawking about genetics and how a single gene makes a person liberal or not clearly demonstrates your lack of expertise and knowledge about the subject.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

Is it possible that these are just people, without some kind of agenda? Paranoia is sure valuable, though, isn't it.

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Carmenilla 3 years, 9 months ago

Tom, I know some lesbians who could kick your whiny ignorant butt back to the Stone Age, where you belong!

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

Be careful Tom. One is likely to hit you with his purse. Full of rocks.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

"What is more likely to happen if the policy is reversed is that tens of thousands of those currently in service will retire, or quit."

Good-- that would be a start to reducing the US military by at least half, as all foreign military bases, and scores of them in the US, are shut down as we scrap the Imperial US Military in favor of a true "Defense" Department.

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Sean Livingstone 3 years, 9 months ago

Are we supposed to question the loyalty and patriotism of those who are going to quit the military because they know gays are allowed to serve openly? So why should we have these men/women serve the military if their opinions are more important than loyalty to the country? I'd rather have gays and lesbians die for this country.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

Gay and Lesbian humans have been serving in the military for decades upon decades which just goes to show they are not detriment. No way jose'!

For at least 40 years or more gays and lesbians have been serving uncle sam apparently with a good deal of credibility. Perhaps the greater majority did not realize they were gay and others simply did not care.

Hey two of the people I shared a room with while on active duty were gay. Did I know that? NO! Perhaps I would never have known had it not been for military intelligence. Yes one day they requested my presence. The questions being asked about their sex lives I thought a bit peculiar. Finally because I was not getting it I had to ask what in the world is going on. It was then I was advised an investigation was underway. It was also then I realized all of the preconceived notions about gay men I grew up with were completely false and generally wrong across the board. These two people were among the few I considered as my close friends.

Most of the individuals under investigation were people with whom myself and others socialized with frequently. A trait these individuals shared was intelligence. One more trait these individuals shared was work ethic and never being passed over for promotions.

It could be Cal Thomas has no clue what the hell he is talking about. Just making up more nonsense. Ignorance is bliss.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

People, you are witnessing one of the rare occasions where Merrill and I agree on a subject.

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Kontum1972 3 years, 9 months ago

you know that when gays are shot they bleed out like the rest of the troopers....why should u care what their personal policy is they have sworn alligiance to the flag and the country, they are in "Harms way " everyday and your butts are here. War is War! I am a Nam vet and really dont care about the sexual preference and i do have alot of gay friends, and they are good people.

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

So.

The military conducts a study, which concludes that there wouldn't be significant ill effects from repealing DADT, which the president waited for before pushing for said repeal.

Then a lot of people get upset and claim that there would be such.

What's the point of conducting studies and waiting for the results then?

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SpeedRacer 3 years, 9 months ago

If I never thought Cal Thomas was a complete idiot before, this confirms it.

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Kris_H 3 years, 9 months ago

I'll always go with what my friend T. said about being gay and serving in the Army Infantry in Vietnam (not "in the Vietnam era" and not off in the Phillipines or something, in country): "Nobody was worried about who was looking at whose ass, everyone was just worried about their ass getting shot off."

'Nuff said.

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slvrntrt 3 years, 9 months ago

Summary of article:

THE GAY IS CONTAGIOUS, WE DON'T WANT ALL OF OUR SOLDIERS TO GET THE GAY AND LET THE TERRORIST WIN.

Also quoting an editorial to debunk a scientific study? wtf

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DillonBarnes 3 years, 9 months ago

haha I know, he might as well have quoted a second grader, just as much credibility.

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

And an editorial from the Moonie Times no less!

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes... just like the effeminate IDF.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Ignorant stereotyping and ridicule certainly advances the credibility of your position...

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

The Internet: Spreading ignorance everywhere.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

More lashing out. So sad. Perhaps you're a closet Democrat as well. Learn to love yourself.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Oh, so that's why you're consumed with self hate...

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slvrntrt 3 years, 9 months ago

I want patent leather combat boots. :(

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

The president, the president, the constitution, the constitution, oops, the record's stuck, oops, the record's stuck, oops the record's stuck...

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

Don't forget "The Anointed One, The Anointed One, The Anointed One." Refusal to accept that someone could actually, y'know, be legally elected just sticks in his throat and he just can't say it! It just goes against the grain of his Constitution. (It's so obvious he has never fully read the real Constitution.).

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 9 months ago

Cal needs to go visit the troops and let them know how utterly fragile they are in his opinion.

Gays could bring down our armed forces according to Cal. If gays have such power, why don't the terrorist types turn queer?

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1029 3 years, 9 months ago

I think Cal Thomas is really a homosexual. My prediction for 2011 is that Cal gets busted with a male prostitute.

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gudpoynt 3 years, 9 months ago

Tom seems eager to stroke Cal's ego. Perhaps these two should meet.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey, at least all he's doing is trolling a little. You, on the other hand, troll a lot!

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

He does have that 1970s gay mustache.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Self hate always causes radical lashing out. I think you're on to something.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

Then Tom Shewmon must absolutely despise himself.

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Fatty_McButterpants 3 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps Cal should take another look at the Constitution himself. Yes, Art. I, Sec. 8 does provide that Congress can control the Army and the Navy, but the Judiciary is empowered to ensure that the fundamental rights of individuals are not violated by government action. In other words, the separation of powers is the tool by which the Framers ensured that one branch couldn't do whatever the hell it wanted.

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Kris_H 3 years, 9 months ago

There are gay and lesbian cops, gay and lesbian firefighters, etc. etc. etc. They are not forbidden from being "out," though I would imagine there are hassles associated with that. Why should the military be any different? It's the same kind of atmosphere, basically. As long as you know somebody's there when you need them to be and they are doing their job, what else really matters?

This stuff is a load of horse manure.

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 9 months ago

"What is more likely to happen if the policy is reversed is that tens of thousands of those currently in service will retire, or quit." ++++ Pure speculation.


"The Congress has a duty to save us " ++++ Ummm...yeah.


Fear and speculation. Such is the repub's way.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Arguing that changing this policy will "destroy" our professional military is insulting to those within the military. These people are professionals and I believe if they can handle Afghanistan, they can handle policy changes.

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DillonBarnes 3 years, 9 months ago

Evil gays and their evil agenda, they want to destroy America! How dumb can you really be?

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tbaker 3 years, 9 months ago

Aside from combat units, the polling shows the majority of service members don't really care about someone's sexuality. Being gay in the military is not nearly the big deal it once was. The current generation in uniform could really care less. DADT is pure politics and symbolism. It has nothing to do with whats "best" for the military.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Actually, if you read the study methodology and examine the results in detail, you'll see that combat units were proportionally sampled and their responses did not differ significantly from non-combat units.

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voevoda 3 years, 9 months ago

Cal Thomas does our servicemembers a disservice by assuming that they can't deal in an appropriate manner with gays and lesbians in their midst. Our military is made up of an extraordinarily diverse group of people. Yes, some enter with prejudices of one kind or another. Some enter with personal values that their fellow soldiers violate--for example, against drinking or cursing. But servicemembers learn to interact with their fellows in a professional manner, so they can do their jobs and serve their country successfully.
As for the chaplains, they, too, are in uniform, and part of their job is to counsel servicemembers so that they (the servicemembers) can fulfill their duties. If they can't do this with gays and lesbians because they are "sinners," chances are they can't counsel effectively other types of "sinners," such as non-Christians, either. If that's the case, they don't belong in the military. Cal Thomas assumes that somehow homosexuality by its very nature undermines society and the military. That wasn't the experiences of the ancient Greeks, the ancient Romans, or the ancient Persians, who all created successul empires.

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

This is the best comment yet on this thread. Thank you voevoda.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

good points. Now that is support and belief in the troops. All the troops.

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gogoplata 3 years, 9 months ago

Do we really need a large federal army?

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Kontum1972 3 years, 9 months ago

yeah shewmon your a real patriot..where did u serve? soldiers are soldiers no matter what their sexuality...they swear an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic they are doing the job they will die while we all sit here at home typing blogs. The Band of Brothers and Sisters.

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Fatty_McButterpants 3 years, 9 months ago

I can see it now ... LT: "Incoming! Hit the deck! Open up that SAW on 'em, corporal!" Cpl: "No sir, I'm not doing anything until Smith tells me if he was staring at my arse."

Give me a break. This whole thing is ridiculous. As a matter of fact, I believe the same arguments were made when the services started integrating the races, and, obviously (sarcasm), that didn't turn out too well.

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Keith 3 years, 9 months ago

Better headline: New policy on gays could devastate Cal Thomas.

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parrothead8 3 years, 9 months ago

It's hilarious that Thomas says "People who take polls for a living will tell you that depending on the methodology, the sample, how a question is asked and the understanding of the ones being polled, the outcome can pretty much be predetermined."

And then says that repealing DADT could devastate the military by citing "another Pentagon survey, which found that repealing the ban could create an “alarming” troop retention problem at a time when the military is already shorthanded."

To suggest that 12.6% of the military would leave if DADT is repealed is ludicrous. Would 12.6% of the people who read this comment leave their jobs if they found out the person they worked next to was gay?

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pizzapete 3 years, 9 months ago

Cal is right on with this one. This could devastate our military, just look at all the damage that happened when they started accepting blacks and women in the military. What's next, are they going to start accepting short people, too.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Short people are already in the service... As F-16 pilots. Zing!

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nekansan 3 years, 9 months ago

It is funny that people think someone who must follow an order to run to their death for freedom is incapable of obeying an order to get along and work with another human being. The order & discipline in the military must really be suffering. As others have mentioned these are the identical arguments against the integration of blacks and women in the armed forces, and once again only serve to confirm the bigotry and pure stupidity of those making such arguments.

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Grammaton 3 years, 9 months ago

Drawing from my own experience I can't say I understand how or why such a change would be devastating. In my boot camp division at Great Lakes, we had one fellow in our division who was obviously homosexual. None of the other recruits had a problem with it. In fact, he was well liked -- even the evening portside (of which I was a part, as well as this man) group shower was a non-issue.

Then, one day after reveille he was simply gone. Rumor was he was discharged, but I never heard it confirmed.

After being attached to BLT 1/6 as an FMF Corpsman I rarely heard talk of homosexuals in the military, save to say a few indicating that they didn't have a problem with it. I seem to recall our operations officer, Maj. Christmas, saying something about the whole "don't ask..." thing being ridiculous, but it's been a while and my memory may be sketchy on that.

I really don't see the problem with ending the policy.

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JayCat_67 3 years, 9 months ago

Funny, most of the people I know who are getting out are doing so because they've had enough deployments and they're ready to actually be with their families. And it seems the recruiters are having no problem making their mission lately. In at least one instance of which I'm aware, earlier this year the Navy actually closed down their station for a long weekend because they simply couldn't put more people in at that time. In some cases, recruits are actually put on a waiting list until a position comes open for them. Yes, the tanking economy has a lot to do with that, but the idea that the military is so terribly undermanned is crap.

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Jeremiah Jefferson 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder just how many people who have comented on this article have actually had the honor of serving their country? Its easy for someone who has never been there to say yeah, let the gay people serve. But the reality is they know very little if anything about what its like to be in the military. The gays rights activists cried and cried to be allowed to serve in the military durring the late 80's. So they let them serve on the condition that they keep their sexual orientation to themselves. Now thats not good enough. Now they gota broadcast their sexual orientation, and that in itself is creating a distraction. If it wasn't we wouldn't be having this discussion. Gay people got a right to be gay, theres no denying that. But everyone else also has a right to not have to hear about it.. Having served in the U.S. Army, one of the first thing that they let you know is that while you might defend the Constitution, you are no longer protected by it. Military personel are subject the the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and I think that gay people better start getting used to that idea and if they don't like it, dont sign up for it.

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Slaphappy 3 years, 9 months ago

Before joining, I got advice from an old vet who said "Keep your eyes, ears, bowls open and your mouth shut and you'll do just fine son"

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JayCat_67 3 years, 9 months ago

It's not about broadcasting it. It's about not being kicked out if it comes out. Most gay people I know don't go around talking about their sex lives. In fact, most of my straight friends don't either. And that's probably a good thing too, since doing so in the wrong company could land you in the commander's office with a harrassment complaint really quickly, and even possibly even end your career.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. Dpn't ask, don't tell works just fine.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Have you read the report? I completely agree that when one is in the service one must be subject to the UCMJ. So does the report. I assume, of course, you never engaged in sodomy whilst in the military, right?

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

Interesting. I suppose that straight soldiers similarly should be expected not to broadcast their sexuality, talk about their opposite-sex significant others or talk about how attractive they find some member of the opposite sex.

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RobertMarble 3 years, 9 months ago

The best way to settle this would be to let the Military personnel decide- and I'm not talking about the high ranking brass in the pentagon. Enlisted personnel (E1 - E9) should be the ones to decide this issue. Civillians shouldn't even be commenting on this.

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RobertMarble 3 years, 9 months ago

Of course the military isn't a democracy, nobody implied otherwise. I stated an opinion on the best method to handle this debate the story is about. That should've been obvious...

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50YearResident 3 years, 9 months ago

"we do what we're told to do by our civilian leadership."

Times must have changed from when I was in the service. Civilian leadership had nothing to do with what the military did.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

Don't ask, don't tell works just fine.

The military is a fighting machine, intended to kill if the situation warrants. Dual allegiance does not serve this model - which comes into play. The military is not subject to 'diversity'. Many are excluded for any number of reasons, and rightly so. The objective is a cohesive fighting machine, where the sense of 'individual' is forsaken for the collective, where all are one. An individual’s orientation is not part of the equation, yet those that would force this issue would make it so.

Everyone seems to forget that the military fights for everyone's rights, even the right to be gay. Keeping this elite group focused is not wrong, it is essential.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

diversity won't work in America military? The only divergence you are talking about is homosexuality, Black, brown, red, yellow, faiths, nonfaith, citizen, refugee, all the same? The divergence is if a person is gay? If you can't keep your focus in combat because you are really really uncomfortable with "diversity" and the "diverse" one can focus then you are the one unfit for combat. It is time for "Don't ask, don't tell" to end. It won't, What irony, that people on the hill didn't fight for the ones they sent to war. I can see the new ribbons, Support some to the troops.

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RobertMarble 3 years, 9 months ago

Pace, you've misinterpeted Homeslice's statement....see how 'diversity' has quotes? The statement is not denying diversity exists in the Military (a military base is almost always more diverse than a civillian city of equal size)....it's implying that the politically correct tendency to treat 'diversity' as some overly exaggerated holy concept has no place in a fighting force where the focus must be on actual life & death situations.....even a good concept can be corrupted by zealots, and that includes the pc bunch who speak about 'diversity' with the same look of fanatacism as many religious types do when they talk about their god/gods/icons

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

Dead on Robert - thanks for clearing this up for Pace.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

Pace, you miss the point. There is 'discrimination' and lack of 'diversity' by design. Do you want people that do not meet the physical standards among the combat troops? The mentally unfit? The emotionaly unfit? The.....you name it? You want the elite fighting for your rights, even the right to be gay. The bar is set high for a reason, gambling with anything less is a fool's errand.

The miltary has certain standards, and thankfully so. A focused, cohesive fighting unit is key. Dual allegiance is not in our best interest.

There are many dissentlng voices that indicate the 'diversity' plan is wrong, many of them currently serving. We would be wise to consider all opinions - and heed the warnings that urge caution.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

I didn't miss the point, I disagreed with his point. I am not being a fanatic by reminding someone the word they use has a real meaning. Get a dictionary. I am a fanatic on associating a word used with the words meaning. Don't base the argument on the American military can't be made of diverse persons. Of course someone will call that just wrong. Call me radical but yes that statement made very little sense. You can say you didn't mean all those other types just gays. You then imply that this "diversity" is to be equated with inadequate physical, mental or character standards. I don't agree with that reasoning.

I don't approve of having an unnamed tomb for soldiers at Arlington, They served, they died but we don't want to know it..

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

"The military is not subject to 'diversity'."

Yeah, there are no black people, no Hispanics, no women, no Asians... The military is certainly not diverse at all.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

You too miss the point. The military is not a laboratory of diversity - sure there are different races, but there is a particular standard for the best of the best - dual allegiance is not part of that standard. Why are women not part of frontline combat? Why are they not in the same barracks as the men? There is no demand of diversity on all levels - for obvious reasons.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Nonsense. The military has always been a laboratory of diversity. It has always been ahead of the curve. Your argument is ignorant of military history.

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AirForce12 3 years, 9 months ago

Some people in this argument are so blind. There are plenty of gays serving in "combat" not "flying a desk" that are doing their job and doing it well. I did not bother to read all of the comments... to much time

Maybe you should educate yourselves. I am a Vet, have worked alongside gays/lesbians, and they did not effect unit cohesion, effectiveness, morale, or anything. Guess what, gays live w/ the troops now and shower w/ them and all that BS that guys come up w/. With a new policy they would no longer be living in the same close quarters... so how is that worse for the homophobes?

Do a little research... many of you sound like fools.

Guess who was the first injury during OIF? A gay man... a man who says he peers knew he was gay, and it did not change the way they felt about him, or how much they trusted him. His name is Eric Alva, a medically retired US Marine. He had his leg blown off by a land mine in Iraq the first day of ground invasion.

How about in WWII when an openly gay man named William Pahlmann became a Lt. Col, and director of the camouflage school and designed uniforms? Do you understand how his skills allowed the protection of high value assets from being bombed?

How about the fact that we serve alongside more than 10 countries that allow their service men/women to serve openly gay. Do a little research before you spout off. Guess what, when you serve, you swear to obey the orders of officer appointed over you... FOREIGN or Domestic. That's right, US military members take orders from openly gay service members w/out the blink of an eye.

DADT causes more problems than good most likely... but of course that is opinionated and not fact.

To say that being openly gay would prevent these things is simply ignorant. The military claims to be an Equal Opportunity Employer... but they discriminate based on sexual preference...hypocrite much?

You also seem to forget that DADT has only been around since 1993... it's not like it has been around forever... policies need adjusted over time, and now is a good time to make a change. Tell me something great that came from the early 90's anyhow (joke)

The original Author is trying to play off opinions as fact, and has shown that his personal opinions have gotten in the way of his journalism. Creating fallacies throughout the article. Not all "religious soldiers" or chaplains believe homosexuality is a sin. That is his OPINION! Also the opinion of McCain saying there will be an early exit of troops because of this... that is another fallacy. Troops are predominately leaving early because they are treated poorly, underpaid, under appreciated, and the knuckleheads are being promoted at the same rate as the good soldiers.

It's fine for everyone to have their opinion, and they should all be heard, but at least try and base it on facts.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

FTW. Good post.

People ought to take the time to read the report before they write ridiculous posts on here. It's only 200+ pages including statistical stuff and it's pretty difficult to refute assuming, of course, one uses logic and not the "gays are icky" argument.

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Grammaton 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, nice post.

The military is plenty diverse as it is, so another step further would not be detrimental in my opinion. I don't believe anyone joins the military just to find a lover, so in my opinion allowing homosexuals shouldn't even be an issue.

Gays should be allowed in the military. Doing so will probably disrupt current conditions, but no more than conditions were disrupted when blacks were allowed in the military... and the military completely recovered from it. I believe this case would be no different.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

This response brings the lols. In one post you manage to insult a wounded soldier and two service branches. Congratulations.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Gee Gandalf, you are so sure of yourself. Even in the face of an honest vet's comments you have no response but to ignore and denigrate. Time to get shot down again: A buddy from my HS swimming and water polo team came out his senior year. He then went to college, enlisted in the Navy, qualified for SEAL training, and is now a Lt. Col. I hear from him now and then. He's very much against DADT and if you made your comments to his face he'd (very easily) kick your a**.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey jerk, ever here of a lat move? I never said he was a Lt Col in the Navy. He's a Marine now!

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Take one step away from Call of Duty, armchair general.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

Well Gandalf, you're right. Pat Tillman is a hero for being killed by friendly fire, but Eric Alva was just a bad soldier - and he was a bad soldier because he was gay. Your logic. It's so good. Magic me up some more, will ya?

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AirForce12 3 years, 9 months ago

You sir are very misinformed. Do you know what a JTac is? How about a Pararescueman? How about a CCT... Combat Controller... all of which are special forces that work along side seals, rangers, and green berets for certain. What branch are they? Air Force.... You clearly are spouting off about other branches you know nothing about... like the typical soldier who really never knew anything other than what his CO or direct superior told him.

Openly gay in HS come back on his background investigation? ARE YOU FREAKING STUPID, obviously you are spouting off w/ opinions and not FACTS? I know guys/gals whom were openly gay w/ TOP SECRET clearances. Keep digging that hole.

You are so dumb you completely missed the point of Eric Alva... then you insult him w/ your lack of facts. You nor I know if he was walking point... the least effective also is not always put in the front. You were probably a terrible Sgt who was always to scared to lead, so you followed like a coward.(Is that fair for me to say? of course by your ignorant theory it is).

You are obviously stupid, arrogant, and don't care enough to seek out truth.

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AirForce12 3 years, 9 months ago

do you not remember when they pull you into a room at MEPS, alone, with a civilian and ask you if you're gay? And then explain if you are, do not tell anyone, and you will not be asked? Have you even been to MEPS or are you basing this off everything you pull from google?

You can be openly gay before you come into the military, and still be commissioned as an officer in any branch of the service. You SIMPLY can not tell anyone, and you will not be asked unless you make your lifestyle choice known.

You can not be discharged for something you've done in your past, not until you swear into the military does your sexual preference matter. For example a "straight man" man/woman may have had a single experience w/ the same sex one time, it could be found out on the background investigation, but they still would be permitted into service.

When you go through that background investigation... sometimes no one is even contacted. That was the case for me when I received my Secret Clearance. You chose the names that go on that investigation... It goes back 10 years only.

You are confused on the background investigation clearly.

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AirForce12 3 years, 9 months ago

Well thanks for your service #1...

I can only imagine things have changed a lot since your time Even if you retired mil, you wouldn't have seen the DADT more than likely.

They may contact others, but they did not for me, I know that. All the clearances go through the same place, but they give out Secret clearances to just about everyone now. That's probably why it is not as strict... but just a guess.

You don't really chose the names, that was a mistake, you fill out a history dating back 10 years, but you still know everything you put on it.

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booyalab 3 years, 9 months ago

A strong military discourages self indulgence. That is all.

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denak 3 years, 9 months ago

so I guess being gay is "self indulgent" Well then, if a strong military discourages self-indulgence then I guess the military should discourage all the heterosexual men from going to the "me so horny" girls when they get off float. Or the strip joints outside of the base or the massage parlors that cater to our men in uniform.

If anyone is self-indulgent in the military, it is our heterosexual servicemen.

That is all.

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booyalab 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm really repeating myself because I made a general statement. But the army officially discourages all kinds of sex.

I hope, when we go the way of ancient Rome, that the barbarians have good cookies.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 9 months ago

a ban on gays in the military is nothing more than a special right for bigots to punish or hide those they are bigoted against.

Every major ally and most of the western world has already dealt with this issue and found no problem. US troupes serving in NATO forces already serve alongside openly gay military without problem.

Military clergy already serves cross religion and already deals with conflicts of belief, this changes nothing.

It is time to stop allowing bigots special privileges. It is time to respect our troupes to be strong, flexible and sane enough to handle this and it is time for the party of individual freedom to stop trying to legislate my life.

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AirForce12 3 years, 9 months ago

I understand your point, but you need to know that gays are not banned from the military. They simply are requested to not tell, and they will not be asked if they are gay.

I hope that some of these people take the time to read my post, but I fear taht I was too late and no one will listen, or will be too fearful to reply.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

I hope you understand that you can still be outed by others than yourself and kicked out of the military, and it is still wrong to have to sit in shamed silence about something as trivial as who you are attracted to- especially if you're willing to give your life for what the country stands for.

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AirForce12 3 years, 9 months ago

i understand plenty well, but you can still deny it. Maybe you should read my previous post which clearly outlines my opinion.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 9 months ago

When a male member of the armed forced is forbidden to mention he is married to a woman or has a girlfriend, then we can talk, until then, separate rules are ignorant and outdated.

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denak 3 years, 9 months ago

Saying that DADT is ok because it simply asks an individual not to tell denies the thousands of ways gay service men and women have to deny who they are. Something as simple as a homecoming, which should be a joyous occasion, is denied them.

When I came home from Saudi Arabia, there were a good 50-60 family members (mainly spouses and girlfriends) who were waiting for the other Marines who came home with me. Lots of hugging, kissing. etc. Normally, one isn't allowed to kiss and hug in uniform but in this instance it is allowed because the military knows that it is good for the psychological health and the overall morale of the troops, to have their significant others there welcoming them home.

But just think what it must feel like the the homosexual service member. Here he or she is, surrounded by his or her fellow soldiers, and not be able to hug or kiss their significant other. Or even acknowledge the relationship because, to do so, would mean the end of his or her career.

What an incredibly lonely existence that must be. To not be able to introduce your spouse to your CO during homecoming. Or when you are promoted. Or when you run into him or her in the PX.

How does that help morale???

Dena

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50YearResident 3 years, 9 months ago

Dena, the only conclusion from this post I can make is that if you ever served in the military you came out as a lesbian or you have never served. Care to comment on that?

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

It would be more appropriate for you to comment on the substance of dena's post than to ask for personal information.

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50YearResident 3 years, 9 months ago

jafs, you have a valid point, however if anyone posting about this subject believes DADT should be abolished in the US Military with the hundreds of thousands of members, they should not be against it also being abolished on a much smaller J/W forun, wouldn't you agree?.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

What's your point? That it's irrelevant either way? That the Lawrence Journal World online forum is a paramilitary organization? Explain...

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50YearResident 3 years, 9 months ago

Not irrelevent at all. My point is if you want DADT to be abolished in the military it means you are for people being open about their sexual preferance while serving. So, if it is OK to be openly gay or lesbain in the military then why don't you think it is just as OK to be openly gay or lesbain in your everyday life with your friends, relatives and co-workers and while posting on a local forum? If it is good in the military then it is also good in your hometown and workplace. Do you have an opposing opinion? If so, print it out. It can't be both ways. You are either proud of your sexual preferances with everyone or no one.

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jonas_opines 3 years, 9 months ago

Man, you're really needing both hands to hold onto that slippery point, aren't you?

From my recollection, I think Dena might be a guy, though. Might be wrong.

Of course, if that's the case it doesn't make it any better. Who could trust someone with an androgynous name like Dena anyway? If the parents had given a more proper name, like Butch, I'm sure that Dena would hold more truly American values.

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denak 3 years, 9 months ago

Butch was their second choice :0)

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Repealing DADT doesn't mean that all gay people must then be public about their orientation as a requirement of serving.

And it doesn't mean that you have the right to "out" anybody on this forum.

I think the choice about how open to be is up to the individual involved.

I see no comments on the substance yet.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

"Not irrelevent at all. My point is if you want DADT to be abolished in the military it means you are for people being open about their sexual preferance while serving. So, if it is OK to be openly gay or lesbain in the military then why don't you think it is just as OK to be openly gay or lesbain in your everyday life with your friends, relatives and co-workers and while posting on a local forum?"

It is. Your argument is illogical. Think about what you're saying. If I'm in the Army and I say I'm gay, I can no longer be in the Army. If I'm posting on the Journal World and I say I'm gay, I can still post on the Journal world. Thus, it is just as OK to be openly gay or lesbian. Thus, it's irrelevant if denak is gay or lesbian here. It's only relevant in the military. It shouldn't be. that's the whole point.

"If it is good in the military then it is also good in your hometown and workplace."

Legally speaking it is in every workplace except the military.

"Do you have an opposing opinion? If so, print it out. It can't be both ways. You are either proud of your sexual preferances with everyone or no one. "

Dichotomies are fun, but largely pointless to discuss. Life has gray area. Sorry to break it to you. Being able to openly serve doesn't mean you have to. Let me ask you this: Does the right to have an abortion mean that all women who are pro choice must have an abortion? Does having the right to drive mean you have to drive? Nope. Make a logical point and try again.

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denak 3 years, 9 months ago

lol, seriously, is that all you have as a rebuttal.

I have mentioned several times over the year when I served and in what branch. I'm pretty sure one or two regulars could probably provide you with that information.

But just for the record, I did serve and served honorably in the United States Marine Corps and no I'm not a lesbian.

However, even if I were, it wouldn't change the inherently discriminatory practice of DADT.

Dena

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libra101 3 years, 9 months ago

It's not 1950 anymore Tom. Thank God. And no, 93% of you aren't bigots, but I bet 20-30% of you are. The rest of us don't care who kisses who, especially in a homecoming situation.

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llama726 3 years, 9 months ago

Maybe in 1950 when you were a kid, but it's 2010, and people just don't care. It's called minding your own business. You want the government to do it when it comes to a wealthy person's finances, but you don't want the government to do it when it comes to a gay person's affection. I repeat - people (generally) just don't care in the United States about a couple sharing affection. The ones who do care just don't understand. Not their fault, not all of them are bigots, they just don't understand and they feel like it bothers them.

Personally, I don't stare at people when they kiss each other or share affection. Not sure why you spend so much time doing so.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

i disagree that 93 percent of people are bigots or that 93 percent of the people agree with you. . I think because at one time prejudice was a mob reaction or even one person's reaction, that is an especially bad reason to perpetuate the bigotry. It is time to just let people serve their country without DADT.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

i disagree that 93 percent of people are bigots or that 93 percent of the people agree with you. . I think because at one time prejudice was a mob reaction or even one person's reaction, that is an especially bad reason to perpetuate the bigotry. It is time to just let people serve their country without DADT.

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Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

"McCain said, “If 12.6 percent of the military left earlier, that translates into 264,600 men and women who would leave the military earlier than they had planned.” McCain wondered if that is a “good idea in a time of war.” The question should answer itself."

Hmm....maybe that might make the Nation think a little bit longer before it gets bogged down in a land war in Southeast Asia....oh wait.....I guess it's SouthWest Asia at this point and this time around. We are a Nation of sheep; cows to slaughter; and we get just what we deserve.

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Orwell 3 years, 9 months ago

I'd love to be around in the not-too-distant future when some military quitter has to explain how his bigotry outweighed his patriotism.

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pace 3 years, 9 months ago

The specific word for quitting for selfish reasons is Palining. Like, I was actually going to be required to do what someone hired me to do so I Palined it.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

Why doesn't the military start housing men with women? Probably could collaspe a lot of the infrastructure that is built to keep them separate, saving on costs, duplicate training, etc. etc.

Is dual allegiance a factor? Would it distract from the mission, the need to focus on the group, not the individual?

Why would this not work?

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

What is this "dual allegiance" nonsense that you keep spouting? I assume - given the nature of the military in our society - that the one allegiance you believe should exist is to the CINC and civilian leadership. What is this mysterious second allegiance? The Corps? Religion? The super-secret gay underground?

Your argument regarding housing is ridiculous and reminds me of the Santorum-esque arguments about gay marriage: "zomg then people will want to marry dogs or horses!" It's a similarly ridiculous slippery slope fallacy.

Just be honest: you find gay people icky.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 9 months ago

You can't be that dim. You know exactly of what I speak, but inflate straw dogs to amuse yourself.

The only group that makes sexual orientation an issue is the group in question. . The mission is the mission - all else is distraction. Yet, they insist on spraying it all over everything they can. Why?

The question about housing is germane, and speaks to the 'unspoken' issue we are dealing with. Why does that make you squirm?

Just be honest, you hate the military and what they have been instructed to do. Don't like where they are and what they are doing? Speak to the person in charge, the one that can effect 'change'. Until then, continue to benefit from the disipline and purpose they provide - based on proven principles and standards that don't need PC nonsense to be sucessful.

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tolawdjk 3 years, 9 months ago

This post is so full of hipocrisy it makes me giggle. The group that is making this an issue is the old guard that does what to potentially catch "the gay". Like if DADT is repealed the next day the barracks will be decorated in pink curtains and assless chaps. The powers the be incharge of the military have said that DADT has served its purpose, but its time has come. In fact, they are being overly nice in even polling the effect population to gather opinion on the subject when they could unilatterally just change the rules and let people cope.

Then, and most amussingly, you imply that people should just sit down and shut up and benefit from the discipline and purpose that our military service people provide, yet your arguement is based on a foundation that claims these same people could possibly be expected to operate with discipline and purpose should the rules change.

Sad.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

"Don't like where they are and what they are doing? Speak to the person in charge, the one that can effect 'change'"

Isn't that exactly what the report is about? Isn't that exactly what is happening through civilian leadership? Fallacy ahoy!

I don't know about what you speak. I have no idea what your "dual allegiance" nonsense means. I am guessing you mean "allegiance to the military chain of command" but you have forgotten that the chain of command ends at civilian leadership. Thus, ultimately, the military is the tool of the civilians and not the other way around. If you mean allegiance to the unit, fine, but I would suggest to you that many fine straight soldiers have multiple allegiances (whatever that means).

Finally, I don't hate the military. I support the military and have spent the better part of my adult life working with and around the military in one capacity or another. I don't feel the need to flaunt my credentials (as you have) because the argument for the repeal of DADT doesn't require that sort of "who is smarter than whom" match. You've already lost it.

What I believe is that our military is a professional fighting force that is made up of people who think. They are not fragile brutes who break things and speak in monosyllabic sentences. If an individual can handle several deployments to Afghanistan, that individual can handle having a gay person shooting a weapon next to him. If he can't handle such a minor policy change, he can leave. My experience with the military suggests that far more people out of the percentage that said they would leave will actually stay. It's easier to say something than do something.

Further, if you look at the aggregate of my posts on here, the last thing of which I can be accused is being PC. Indeed, I'm accused of quite the opposite and frequently find myself on the "conservative" side of arguments although I find that label fraught with pejorative overtones.

On a final note: I believe this comes down to leadership and it does not surprise me - at all - that the USMC is fairing poorly in this policy change. Their recent track record of upper-level leadership has had a difficult time with the civil-military relationship concept. I would suggest that the USMC should tread very carefully because - out of any of the branches - once the wars are over they could face serious cutbacks related to their inability to maintain a coherent mission that differentiates the USMC from any other service branch.

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Armored_One 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure it has been asked before, but what does it matter who you have sex with when discussing your ability to follow orders, shoot intelligently, and whatever else your job might entail in the military?

This is a bunch of nonsense.

Do you ask the guy flipping your burger if he is gay?

Do you ask the girl at the jewelry store if she is lesbian?

Do you ask anyone? Honestly? I don't think that I have ever asked anyone in my life if they were gay or not. I don't care. I really don't. It really doesn't have any direct impact on anyone's life, except for those that are involved, pun not intended.

It's all well and good to sit here and toss up opinions as if they were worth the effort it takes to put them in type after thinking about them. And yes, that includes my opinion, before you get jumpy. Get down off your freaking high horses and just admit the basic truth in all of this. If you are willing to slam someone for their opinion, then you had better be willing to get slammed for yours.

As to DADT...

Military policies come and go. Remember when black people weren't allowed to serve on battleships in WWII, because they were believed to have poor night vision?

That is just one policy that has come and gone. But then again, this is just an opinion, so take it for what it's worth to you and press on.

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SirReal 3 years, 9 months ago

Newsflash - Cal Thomas cares so much about this story because he is gay and doesn't want to admit it.

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independant1 3 years, 9 months ago

Whenever confronted with form to fill out, when I come to part where there are two boxes male/female to check I write in 'occasional'.

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