Time for the US to end, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'....
If Israel can allow gay men and women to serve openly, then so can the Americans....
The first American wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom told a House sub-committee Wednesday that many in his unit knew he was gay and it was not an issue.
It was only years after he nearly died in battle, receiving a Purple Heart for courage, that he realized he needed to speak out against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ban on gays serving openly in the military.
“Three hours into the invasion, we had stopped to wait for orders. I went back to the Humvee to retrieve something – to this day I can’t remember what – and, as I crossed that dusty patch of desert for the third time that day, I triggered a landmine,” former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric F. Alva told the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
“I was thrown through the air, landing 10 or 15 feet away,” said Alva, who served in he Marine Corps for 13 years. ”The pain was unimaginable. My fellow marines were rushing to my aid, cutting away my uniform to assess the damage and treat my wounds. I remember wondering why they weren’t removing my right boot – it wasn’t until later that I realized it was because that leg was already gone.”
Alva said that he received the Purple Heart, along with visits from the President and First Lady. “I was told I was a hero,” he recalled.
“That landmine may have put an end to my military career that day, but it didn’t put an end to my secret. That would come years later, when I realized that I had fought and nearly died to secure rights for others that I myself was not free to enjoy. I had proudly served a country that was not proud of me. More importantly, my experience disproved all the arguments against open service by gays and lesbians – I knew I had to share my story,” Alva said.