I was hoping to post something tonight about the fantastic veterans event I attended today, but unfortunately I forgot the USB cable to my digital camera at work and it will have to wait until Monday. A bit disappointing as I truly was in the presence of greatness today that left me still on a bit of a high as I type this. However, it’s probably better to post it on Veterans Day anyways. For now though I’d like to share something I posted on my blog the other day:
A superb trailer for an upcoming documentary about the ban against gays serving in the military. I’m not surprised to hear about some military chaplains using a hit-piece video depicting the worst aspects of so-called “gay culture” to tar everybody who is homosexual. I recall being in boot camp, standing at attention with the rest of my company, while the Navy chaplain was yelling at us to shape up and not be like Clayton Hartwig. Does the name sound familiar? Probably not. The Navy tried to cover up an accident on the Battleship Iowa by falsely accusing this sailor who died in the accident of sabotaging his gun turret because supposedly a homosexual affair he was having went bad. It has never even been shown that Hartwig was gay. They lied, flat-out and it took a few years for his family to clear this sailor’s name. I remember all of this, along with the anger and fear I had that this is what others thought of people like me. Even at that time in the fall of 1989 there were many questions about the Navy’s accusations against Hartwig yet with the flimsiest of evidence they tarnished this sailor’s name and this was used against all gays. Though the years have passed and Hartwig had his name cleared, I still remember all of this and what this kind of senseless bigotry has done to my beloved Navy. The reasons for this policy have been shown time and time again to be baseless, leaving nothing but bigotry remaining (fear of change as well no doubt). It’s time for this to go and God I hope that day is soon so those who currently are in uniform and those to come, whether they are gay or even perceived to be, can serve openly and honorably.
— John (Average Gay Joe)