Like 75% of the people in our country, I’m for gays serving openly in the military or in any capacity, having all of the same equal rights and privileges as others. I sincerely respect their life style and all of their constitutional rights. And I do not think that their open service will lessen the effectiveness of the military or endanger national security at all.
As you all know, the military has been the one area where there has an obvious barrier to equal access for gays for decades, if not centuries. I recall when many fellow students were protesting the Vietnam war, that a few individuals were even prepared to declare that they were gay in order to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Thank, God, I got a high draft number, otherwise, I might have had to kiss the sergeant at the draft board.
Incidentally, I was the only student in the entire history of UCONN to flunk out of its ROTC program. I’m kind of proud of that distinction. I never wanted to go over to Vietnam and kill Vietnamese soldiers fighting for their political beliefs, and burn down houses and villages and kill women and children in the heat of battle.
With the recent repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, allowing gays now to serve openly in the military, one might wonder if there is a need now to refine its parlance. Might the repeal now prompt, for the sake of decorum, a major revision of the language used in military manuals to describe the soldiers’ field maneuvers and positions?
Can you imagine officers and sergeants leading men into life-and-death battles, bellowing out orders or positions such as, “advance from the rear”, or “rear attack”, or “attack the rear”, or “tail end of the formation”, or “protect the rear” or “take the rear”? Do you think that such phrases now might take on a whole new connotation in the military?
In the heat of battle, will our soldiers’ vigilance for enemies ahead of them be distracted by concerns over their “rear guard”? Will there now be a refrain from references to a derriere in any military action or position, especially when bayonets are fixed?
In a recent survey nearly 60% of marines and soldiers in combat arms units predicted problems would arise. Can it be that they fear a problem might “arise” while sharing a “fox hole” with a gay soldier? But wouldn’t a straight soldier feel a wee bit more comfortable knowing if his comrade were gay or not, rather than wondering all night while cuddled together in that fox hole, trying to stay warm, dry, and safe?
In any event, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” will probably have no effect on the repeated use of the “F” word by lowly, mistreated soldiers to describe the much wished-for fate of a detested sargeant or officer, except for the added opportunity now to provide a specific subject, previously lacking, for the desired action to be performed upon the sargeant or officer in the predicate of that vulgar, trite imperative sentence.