It had been a terrible week, month, few months really for me in the Marine Corps, but at least it was the weekend. I was part of what I heard one corporal refer to as the broke-dick platoon, on light duty, injured, in the process of being discharged against my will. I felt outcast and completely alone.
A different corporal, a squadmate of mine at the Defense Language Institute with a reputation for getting himself in trouble asked me if I wanted to go to a going away party at a club in San Francisco, and since it sounded better than sitting in my room alone, I agreed and went with him.
As we drove to San Francisco, I asked him what the club was like, he said it was pretty cool and that a few other Marines would be there. After grabbing some Chinese food (it was my first time in the city, and he was showing me around) we went to the club, and he led me around and up and into the private area where the party was. There was music, a cake, and some people making out.
Guys making out. From my platoon.
I was stunned for a second, but I knew DADT was wrong. I remembered the recruiters who made offensive gay jokes as I and others filled out the paperwork. The jokes the drill instructors made about sharing bunks. I had learned it was a policy that encourages discrimination against homosexuals.
So, I smiled and joined the party. Thinking back it still makes me feel incredibly happy. Those Marines that came out to me made me feel accepted in a way that I don't think I can describe. It was the feeling of brotherhood I had been searching for since I enlisted. That was the best party I've ever gone to, and I really hate club music.
I cannot believe that the Senate failed to pass the defense authorization bill, or Senator McCain's illogical blubbering apoplexy on television. But only barely. Republicans will do anything to hang on to their institutionalized active discrimination.
I think homosexual and bisexual men and women who serve our country do so with great honor and bear a burden that is impossible for me to understand. It requires a heroic level of courage to volunteer to risk your life in service to your country and simultaneously work tirelessly to hide your identity.
To those men and women I say thank you.