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Vets protest plan opening military to homosexuals
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 12/22/2010 @ 9:43 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Veterans and active duty personnel alike are reacting harshly to the news that Barack Obama has signed the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and one much-needed leader already could be lost to the military.
A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army has confirmed to WND that he is asking to be relieved of the command of his squadron because of the new policy. And former combat personnel are telling WND that they are continuing to keep the pressure on Congress to reverse itself.
“I have already requested through my chain of command that I be relieved of command of my squadron prior to new policy implementation on grounds that my personal beliefs don’t permit me to force the coming ‘behavior modifications’ training and other inevitable policies on my soldiers,” the officer, whose name has been withheld, wrote to WND.
The statement highlights the question of whether soldiers themselves are ready to go along with the controversial social experiment imposed by Congress, or whether they’ll carefully withdraw from command positions and troop ranks, pack their bags and leave the military.
Members of the military or veterans who have concerns about the policy change can send their stories to WND.
Earlier, during congressional debate over the radical Obama plan to make the military more “gay”-friendly, officials reported that 12.6 percent of the personnel, some 264,600 soldiers, said they would leave sooner than planned because of the change. Another quarter of a million said that would be among their options when considering their careers.
The survey, done by the military itself, said nearly one-third of Marines would leave sooner than planned and another 16.2 percent would consider that – hitting possibly half of the members of the corps.
Another member of the military, whose name also is being withheld, warned that group showers, lack of doors on bathroom stalls and no doors in dressing areas now become issues.
“Who do I sue if I feel harassed? The drill instructor? His commanding officer? The post/base commander? Or does my harasser suffer a fall going down the stairs? Or from a high point in the obstacle course? How many harassment complaints until the pervert is washed out? How many witnesses to the event are required?” he asked.
“I presume our military are no longer welcome in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is a capital crime,” he suggested.
With Obama’s signature today on the law that had been approved earlier by Congress, the protests are surging. America’s leading veterans groups are helping lead the charge.
“The members are making their sentiments known,” Marty Callaghan, a spokesman for the American Legion in Washington. D.C., said. “They are making comments.”
Sometimes the comments appeared to go into a black hole.
“I just wrote my Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who voted for this bill,” William R. Bridgeman, who served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division, said.
He also served in the first Gulf War.
“I suppose a decadent society with decadent politicians is more than comfortable with a decadent military,” he added.
But Burr was not responding.
His office declined to respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment for the WND story.
Callaghan said the veterans organization had urged patience and a thorough review.
“We sent a letter asking them not to rush through repeal of DADT,” he said.
The policy was created about 17 years ago when the nation’s law read that it is illegal for homosexuals to be in the military. The accommodation to those who choose an alternative sexual lifestyle was that if they did not publicize their choice, the military would not inquire.
A wide range of combat veterans say the law simply substitutes political correctness for military readiness, and that already is harming U.S. national security and morale.
“This further increases the political correctness syndrome within the military,” said Brian McDowell, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and is now a chief investment officer with FBR Wealth Management Group.
“Loss of attention equals mission failure.”
McDowell, who earned 18 awards and medals in the military and graduated from a number of leadership and command programs, warned soldiers need to concentrate on “weapons cleaning, physical fitness, strategy, tactics, potential threat responses, and operational multipliers, to name a few. Anything that takes attention away from these things increases the chance of not succeeding.”
Social experimentation and political correctness were not among the priorities he cited.
“While our combat troops continue to focus on their mission on the war-front throughout the world, Congress can’t focus on funding those very service members,” said Tim Tetz, director of the Legion’s legislative division.
He said Congress clearly didn’t “take whatever time is necessary to understand the nuances a repeal of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ would have on our nation’s fighting forces.”
The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, and the leaders of the Army and Air Force have voiced similar analysis. They agreed in testimony earlier this month before the Senate Armed Services Committee that repeal would be a distraction upon those in combat now.
Robert W. Spanogle, a past national commander of The American Legion, is taken aback by the lame-duck session’s actions.
“Count me in with the commandant and those soldiers and Marines in the mud on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tip of the spear,” said Spanogle. “Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they believed there would be a negative impact on their unit’s effectiveness with a repeal of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’”
While advocates for promoting homosexuality are awash in good cheer over their work, people with military experience fear the harm that is developing.
“This is a volunteer force with honorable men and women volunteering to give up their lives if needed in order to achieve the objectives of their country,” McDowell said.
“If this attitude of valor is not respected by our policy makers we will see a degrading in the general order and discipline of our forces, by both soldier and commander,” he said.
The soldier who raised concerns about privacy suggested to WND the military course of action now is filled with pitfalls that have yet to be considered.
“I presume now that all public bathrooms in America are unisex and all doors on the stalls will be removed? What’s great for the military is great for society right? Isn’t that what the lefties are telling us? So women using the toilet will have men watching them. Hey, we are all adults right? We won’t peek and pedophiles won’t sneak cameras into public bathrooms,” he wrote.
“The real issue will be unequal treatment of men if you stop them from showering with women. Isn’t the very nature of sexual attraction and the normalcy of it the point here?
“Why let one class of people shower with their muses while denying the majority the very same privilege? Otherwise won’t we have to make lesbians shower with hetero men?
“So they aren’t making the women in the shower uncomfortable? Ditto for gay guys. Will gay men only shower with hetero women? What do we do with the transgendered or bisexuals?” he said.
The reaction was moving far beyond the ranks, too. Leading traditionalist civil rights attorneys were dismayed by the law’s enactment, but vowed to join veterans and active duty servicemen in the fight.
Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center in Michigan, said the military now will be under the microscope by those who watch for rights violations.
“The Thomas More Law Center will review cases of discrimination against Christian service members as a result of this repeal, and where appropriate, defend at no charge those service members penalized for resisting this abhorrent new ‘morality’ being forced upon them.”
He noted during George Washington’s command of the Continental Army, he approved the sentence dismissing an officer from the service for attempted sodomy in 1778.
Washington ordered the officer drummed out of camp and never be allowed to return.
“Service in the United States military is not a right,” Thompson explained. “The fact that someone wants to serve in the military has never been the sole standard by which to allow service. The military has historically been selective about who can join, imposing restrictions based on age, weight, physical fitness, health, drug usage, and more. ”
He charged that Obama and Congress had no thoughts other than to “curry favor with homosexual groups.
“It betrays our combat troops who overwhelming spoke out against it. And in time, it will destroy the religious foundations and the high moral standards that are characteristic of our military. It was those religious and moral standards, and not the sophistication of our military hardware, that made the American soldier the best in the world,” he said.
WND previously reported that under the specification of the language in the law, the policy must remain in force until the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can certify that the change will not impair combat readiness.
Before that happens the military must rewrite laws and regulations that could affect same-sex relationships, such as the Uniform Code of Military Justice ban on sodomy and also indoctrinate soldiers, sailors and airmen to tolerate open homosexuality. The transition period is expected to take a year.
“It’s important for people to know that this is not over,” said Robert Knight, a leading opponent of the homosexual political agenda. “There are no permanent victories or defeats in politics. And this can be reversed at some point, in a more conservative Congress.”
Demonstrating that the repeal will not adversely affect the military could prove a great challenge for the president.
“We think it’s going to be very damaging to readiness and recruiting,” said Tommy Sears, executive director of the Center for Military Readiness. “You’re going to have people currently serving, valuable, experienced individuals, refusing to continue. On the flip side, people who would have considered serving will not because this policy is going to say you must accept this open homosexuality policy. The military will not do things halfway. They will impose a zero tolerance policy for the full range of preferences and rights for homosexuals.”
Members of the military or veterans who have concerns about the policy change can send their stories to WND.
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