President Bush visited the wounded United States Marine in Washington. Laura was at his side. There they saw the ravages of war as this soldier had lost a leg. In time Defense Secretary Rumsfeld would travel to Bethesda Naval Hospital to honor this man, the first U.S. Marine to be wounded in the Iraq War. The man was Staff Sgt. Eric Alva.
ABC News told his story. “He was a decorated staff sergeant who had served in Somalia and Japan. As troops began to push into Iraq, on March 21, 2003, Alva was leading 11 Marines among 75 or so sailors and Marines in a 50- to 55-vehicle convoy on its way from the desert in Kuwait to Basra, Iraq. It was a logistical convoy moving through the desert at night, lights out, night-vision goggles on. The sand was so kicked up it was nearly impossible for Alva to even keep track of the vehicle in front of him. At one of three stops along the way, Alva, who hadn’t eaten for a full day, was heating up an MRE when he went to get something out of his Humvee. ‘I took maybe a step or two,’ Alva said, ‘and that is when the explosion went off.’ It was a land mine.”
One of my readers commented recently that gay rights are ‘special rights’, and since Alva is a gay member of the United States military I am wondering if my reader feels that this patriotic American has any reason to want justice. Alva is bravely fighting to end the bigoted notion of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ that has cost the U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars, and ended the military careers of many citizens. While Alva was ready to give his life for his country my reader sits in America kissing the homophobic Pope’s ass..err, ring… and hoping to deny ‘special rights’ to patriotic citizens. One really has to wonder what goes on in the heads of bigoted conservatives.
The fact that my bigoted reader even has a place called America to call home is in large part the result of a gay man in the military! General Washington owed, as do we, much to the efforts and know-how that General von Steuben brought to the Revolutionary fight. Yup, General Steuben was family!
Perhaps conservatives like my reader just love to waste taxpayer’s money. Let us look at the training that the government gave to the following Americans only to dismiss them for being gay.
In FY (Fiscal Year) 2005, the military dismissed 49 medical personnel, 40 law enforcement officers and 14 intelligence officers. The Army dismissed 35 infantrymen in 2005, as well as seven nuclear, biological and chemical warfare specialists. The Navy discharged 17 air crewmen. A total of 742 service members were dismissed in 2005; the total since the law’s implementation in 1993 is more than 11,000. On average, the armed forces fire 2 -3 service members under the law each day.
There is ample evidence to show that the military takes longer to release a gay doctor than a gay infantryman. So it is obvious that the military twits are less concerned with having no homosexuals in the service than with having people think there are no homosexuals in the military.
Today Congressman Marty Meehan, chair of the House Armed Services Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations, re-introduced legislation to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel. Openly gay Madison Democratic Congresswoman Baldwin was one of the many co-sponsors.
It is clear that leadership is needed on this issue much akin to what President Truman provided when allowing blacks to serve in the military. ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is something for the ash bin of history.
Presidential candidate John Edwards understands. “It is long past time to end the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military. It is critical to our national security that we have the best people in our military. Gay men and women have continually served our country with honor and bravery, and we should honor their commitment and never turn away anyone who is willing to serve their country because of their sexual orientation. This is an issue of fundamental fairness – and our military ought to treat everyone fairly. I applaud Congressman Meehan on his important legislation.”
2 thoughts on “Does This U.S. Marine Deserve ‘Special Rights’?”
Homosexual behavior has no place in the military or non-military. So get your act together if you want respect and so-called rights.
I am sure I am the “bigoted” conservative that the author went after here, but let me say this When Americas first black president put that don’t ask don’t tell into affect I thought he was wrong and I still think it is s stupid policy. If men and women want to serve this country and are able to it should not matter which way the swing.