I feel Congress should repeal the military's policy of "Don't ask don't tell policy." The time has come when we should not discriminate against allowing gays to serve in the military.
I think gays ought to be allowed to serve the country they love. We have some highly trained men and women, who due to their sexual orientation are dismissed every year. Here are people who are highly trained in communications and some who are Arabic language specialists and are our nations eyes and hears against terrorism.
We no longer have a draft and are at war on two fronts and have an all volunteer military. We no longer have the luxury of dismissing those who we disagree whom they sleep with.
Now before I enlisted in the Navy, I rented a room from two men who were gay and I learned to understand and to respect them and their life style. One of the men had served in the Korean War and said to me that “during the war I was more afraid of having my sexuality discovered than being injured or killed." That I believe is so true of so many today who serve with loyalty and dedication to duty and yet are afraid of being discovered on who they really are.
I served in the U.S. Navy and had known a few men that were gay and who confided to me because they knew I respected them and their desire to serve our nation. There was this sailor I knew who was discovered and was dismissed and who loved serving his country. I heard a few weeks later that he took his own life. That was so sad and dismissing him in my opinion was so unnecessary.
I hope Congress sees this as well and acts to allow these brave and patriotic Americans the opportunity to serve our country without discrimination and prejudice. We need all that are willing and able to serve in these most difficult times.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village