Earlier this month, Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq veteran, West Point graduate and Arabic linguist, was dismissed from his position with the Army National Guard for publicly acknowledging that he is gay. His dismissal was due to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the federal government’s policy that bans lesbian and gay people from serving openly in the U.S. military.
Dismissals such as Lt. Choi’s couldn’t come at a worse time, either for the armed services or for the gay and lesbian servicemembers who have served our country. The military is desperately trying to recruit and retain qualified personnel to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan while the recent economic downturn makes it difficult for fired soldiers to find employment after being sent back home.
Here’s Civil Discourse cartoonist Matt Bors’s take on the situation:
We hope Congress will soon take action to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, so that gay and lesbian Americans who want to serve their country can get out of the unemployment line and back out on the front lines.