If you’re reading only what you GayWired feeds you, you’d know that Private Kyle Lawson, formerly of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, was beaten by fellow soldier Private Zacharias Pierre. You’d know that charges were not brought against Private Pierre and that the military was not seeking further action against him. You’d probably know civil charges had been dismissed and the whole incident had been taken over by, and then supposedly dismissed by the military. You’d know that Lawson is now out of the military for being gay while Pierre goes on unscathed, and you’d be indignant that such an injustice was done.
Unfortunately, you wouldn’t have the whole story. For example, you wouldn’t know that Lawson voluntarily outed himself last month and therefore secured his separation from the US Army. You’d also not know that Lawson was coming on to Pierre. You might also not know that, according to his recruiter, Lawson knew exactly what the policy was and had been briefed on what to expect once enlisted. You also might not know that it’s common practice for the military to take charge of a situation that involves only military members and that such decisions and deliberations are by law and practice not open to the public.
Ultimately, it’s the commander’s responsibility to protect the troops under his charge. I don’t know the details about this incident, but it certainly smacks of a lack of discipline and morale within the unit that allows a troop to feel it’s appropriate or even excusable to assault his fellow soldier for any reason. Unfortunately, the leaders of the “Gay Community” have already seized upon this event as an opportunity to attack Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Just as in 1999, when a soldier at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, was beaten to death by his fellow troops, of course gay groups (and Hon., Barney Frank) will jump on the bandwagon and those who don’t appreciate the military sufficiently will miss the more important issue in order to forward a political agenda. It’s a shame that when something as base and simple (and obvious an example of lack of proper commander’s authority and presence) as a soldier beating up another soldier is diffused into simple gay politics. We do a disservice to the military when all we see in a clear-cut case of abuse and lack of esprit-de-corps is who’s gay.