I was watching this movie last night, Stop-Loss, and it got me thinking about my own personal experiences in the military. The movie is about a group of soldiers doing a tour in Iraq, the loss that they experience and their adjustment to civilian life once the tour is completed. The movie focuses on the military's controversial stop-loss program, which basically states that, 'since you are a trained and top-notch soldier, we are not going to let you get out of the service, we are sending you back.' Understandably, this causes a lot of soldiers to say 'f off' and they go AWOL (absent with out leave). Obviously, this doesn't solve anything but in turn creates more problems. In the end, the main character ends up going back for another tour in Iraq.
So, what made him make the decision to re-up and go back to the desert to serve an organization that is screwing with his life? Is it because that's all he knows? Is it due to his honor, courage and commitment to this great nation?
Obviously, there is a point to all of this. Back in 2005, I was discharged from the US Navy due to 'homosexual admissions'. Now, with Obama in office and his plan to revoke the 'don't ask don't tell' policy that has been put in place for so many years, it makes me stop and think about what my next move will be if it really does happen. When I stop and think back, the only part of being in the military was having to hide who I really was. Take the year I was overseas...I was basically living 4 lives. I had my life at work, in uniform, straight as an arrow, thousand yard stare. I had my life on base outside of work, still straight, however, my close friends were aware of the truth. My life going out off base, this was when I still had to be careful, but, hey when alcohol is involved you can get away with a lot more, right? lol. And then of course, my life back home where everyone knew how gay I really am. It's really hard to split yourself into so many different realms of acceptance. I had it figured out but it got extremely exhausting.
So, back to the point of the possibility of allowing gays into the military has my mind going a thousand miles a minute. I loved my life in the Navy, seeing the world, the camaraderie amongst my peers. Some of my best friends are from the days when I felt like I had no one, and there they were. I thrived on the discipline, knowing exactly what was expected of me, everyone held accountable for their actions. Granted, yeah, there are always the quirky things that will get under any one's skin, but overall, it played a huge role into molding me into who I am today.
Has anyone else experienced the same thing, or know anyone who has? Do you have an opinion on the matter, one way or the other? If you were in my shoes, what would you do?