Thursday, April 1, 2010


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?


  1. Obviously, for the personal aspect, the timing does play a huge role. I would like to know that the next 7 months of my life aren't going to require cringing every time I check the mail or answer the door.
    As far as what you stated:"the same government that disrespected you when you were serving", I have mixed feelings about this. I *do* agree that it was disrespectful and a complete slap in the face to shun me due to my sexual orientation. However, it was *my* hand that picked up the ink pen and signed the form that stated I would not partake in these acts. This is where the convolution comes into play. I was there to play the game, but the game won.
    I don't agree with the policy 'at all', I do, however, understand it. At the same time, was I negligent in trying to hide it to make the most of my career? Was my age and immaturity what caused me to be discovered? Would I appreciate and indulge myself in the lifestyle more freely if I knew I wouldn't be discriminated against? These are the questions that go through my head when I think about a possible return....

  2. I completely agree, it's ridiculous that the policy is even in place, but I accepted them and pledged that I would take no part. That is just something that I have come to accept.

    For the part of living 'out', that's kind of what put me where I am today. I didn't hide it well enough, so that's why I got the boot. As far as housing goes, there is nothing that states that you have to live on base. Honestly, I'd rather not. But, then again, that all depends on which duty station.

    I miss the way I felt about myself when I would don my uniform each day and look in the mirror. I felt like I was serving a purpose and living a respectable life. They always say hind sight is 20/20, right?

  3. I just wanted to say that I understand the pride you felt, and still feel, about your time in uniform. I served 6 years before being discharged to have my first child. I still miss it, and I know that if it weren't for the Army I wouldn't be the person I am today.

    My point. If he were to repeal the DADT policy, and re-enlisting were still an option, you should do it! You have an awesome wife to support you now, and maybe taking back the career they took from you would help you to feel better about how it all went down? You only live once, and I am sure you know by now that you cannot live with regret! I am truly happy that you are able to live the life you want and deserve to have with wonderful people around you. I can't imagine how difficult it had to have been to have to present yourself as something you weren't. Unfortunately I've watched many good friends in the military live the same life you were forced to live while you were in.

    I digress, but I hope that if this is where your heart still is WHEN they repeal that outdated and ridiculous policy that you can take back what they took from you, proudly and without any regret or remorse for being YOU.

    Hope I did this right so you can actually read it! LOL :) -Alicia*

  4. Kirsten- I don't think I could hide it if I tried ;) lol...and, yes, I do know how you feel about my being in uniform...I will see if that can be arranged. :)

    Alicia- Yes, you did it right, yay!! Thank you for your support and confidence that I would be making the right choice if I decide to go back in. I feel like I lost more than just a career when I got out, it was like they took a part of me along with it. I want to get *that* piece back.

    Let's hope that the country/military can catch up with the rest of the world and finally allow us to move forward. It's kind of amazing how only one 'company' in the United States is allowed to discriminate for employment....