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Author Topic: Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Gays & the military--ARCHIVED  (Read 104534 times)

Offline mountain boy

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Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Gays & the military--ARCHIVED
« on: April 04, 2006, 03:39:43 PM »
A few of us found ourselves talking about this kind of stuff lately. If a thread hasn't yet been created for it, here's a place.

If we've gone 4 months without getting into this topic then congrats to us!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 08:24:36 PM by Dave Cullen »

Offline Lola

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Re: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 03:46:33 PM »
Good idea, I just hope it stays civil.  I know people have very different ideas about the military in general.  And I have very strong opinions.  Maybe I can lurk!  ;)
 
FUNGURL

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 10:11:07 PM »
Let's see....the late Barry Goldwater had this to say about gays in the military.....

"You don't have to be straight, you just have to shoot straight."


Offline Willhoite

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 10:46:15 PM »
When Jack Twist told Ennis, "if the Army don't get me," it was a time period when poor boys were starting to be drafted.

It seems like in the early 1960s, even before the Vietnam "war" started, they were drafing people with possible plans to go to war.

My cousin who was 2 1/2 years older than men was drafted while I was going to college in 1963. My older brother, who was six months younger than our cousin, did not get drafted because he had heart problems.

And, after 1965, the local draft board seemed to want to get the boys and men, no matter how educated they were, from the lower middle and lower income areas of town. When I was in Vietnam in 1967, there were at least 4 of us who had not only gone to the same high school at the same time but the same church who were in the same Army Brigade. All of us were college grads and still drafted.
" . . . he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream . . . it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong."

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2006, 07:13:22 AM »
I've always kind of thought it funny that the military was so "militantly' anti-gay and "don't ask-don't tell" and yet most of my gay friends in college and post-college were ex-marines (huh - no message there).  Is there a connection?  Is there a reason why so many gays are in the military?  Am I just being really thick headed and blonde?

(Okay, I get it that it's like ALL GUYS, but not ALL GUYS are gay..so?  WHat gives?)
"And when he shall die,
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Offline mcnell1120

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2006, 09:19:48 AM »
Let's see....the late Barry Goldwater had this to say about gays in the military.....

"You don't have to be straight, you just have to shoot straight."



Right on man....and don't matter if you're a gal neither.....the gun has no discriminations !!
RICKY MARTIN ,tu eres mi Kiki !

Offline Willhoite

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2006, 10:52:28 AM »
I've always kind of thought it funny that the military was so "militantly' anti-gay and "don't ask-don't tell" and yet most of my gay friends in college and post-college were ex-marines (huh - no message there).  Is there a connection?  Is there a reason why so many gays are in the military?  Am I just being really thick headed and blonde?

(Okay, I get it that it's like ALL GUYS, but not ALL GUYS are gay..so?  WHat gives?)

When I was on active duty in the US Army (July 26, 1966 through July 25, 1968), I was in denial of my sexual orientation. When I was in Vietnam (Feb 67 - Feb 68), I was a clerk-typist in the Staff Judge Advocate Section (I worked for JAG officers) at HQ. First, I was with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. The 196th was at Tay Ninh, NW of Saigon near the Cambodian border when I arrived in-country and then a couple of months later it moved up north to Chu Lai, on the coast of the South China Sea. Actually, the Brigade HQ was not on the coast because the Marine Air Base was between it and the ocean. We were up on a hill above Highway 1.

I knew of only one court-martial involving a "sodomy" case and that was while I was with the 196th. I did see the guy who got convicted because his "escort" brought him to the office for some paper work before he was to go down to Saigon on the way back to the States. The guy was somewhat cocky and immature. Why he would want to have sex in one of those latrines was beyond me. I put "escort" in quotes; because my "gaydar" sensed that the guy taking him South was not exactly straight in his sexual orientation either.

The odd part about the guy's case is that nothing even happened to the guy who consented to the act with the convicted one. He was just as guilty and he was not even charged.

When the 196th was moved up to replace the Marines north of Chu Lai so that the Marine units could advance toward the DMZ, most of those of us who worked in HQ sections with the 196th were transferred to HQ Americal Division at Chu Lai. I was at Chu Lai during the Tet Holiday Offensive of 1968.

Speaking of Marines, when I lived out in the San Fernando Valley of LA, I saw a newspaper article about the Marine Commandant over the San Diego area bases complaing to the California Attorney General about young marines making gay porno movies in San Diego. The AG told that complaining Marine, in words to this effect (that's a JAG expression for an indirect quote considered equal to an actual quote), "While sodomy might be illegal with the US Military, consensual same sex activity is not illegal in California and that includes the making of pornography by and for adults."
" . . . he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream . . . it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong."

rob7

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2006, 05:56:39 PM »
Willhoite,
You and I were in Nam at the same time.   I was stationed around Saigon, and there was never a lack of sex,
boy...could I write a book    :D :)

Offline Willhoite

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 06:43:49 PM »
When I was in the US Army (two years) and in Vietnam (1 year), during those years I was celibate because I was not married and I was chaste because I did not have sex during those two years. I was in denial of my sexual orientation.

When I was in "Nam, there were legally married men who went on R&R to the places where they could get sex with prostitutes. Some of them returned with photographic proof of their sexual activity with whores.

And, some of the guys there in 'Nam had movie projectors and showed heterosexual porn in the hooches (the buildings where we slept and spent time after work). Even commissioned officers showed up to view the stuff.

I did take my first R&R in Hawaii. And, I sorta dated a woman, Linda, whom I met a a church conference there. I say "sorta" because I got her brother, Jimmy, whom I liked very much, to bring her to where I was staying and we went shopping together. I became "pen pals" with the both of them which lasted about a year. The relationship with the both them was merely platonic; but, I sort of used the pics with myself and Linda as a "beard" for me in 'Nam.
" . . . he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream . . . it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong."

Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2006, 11:40:03 AM »
Ah, a subject near and dear to my heart.

Back in 2000, I spent 5 months working on a series for Salon called "Don't ask, don't tell, don't fall in love." Best thing I've ever written.

Links at the top of this page, if you're interested:

http://blogs.salon.com/0001137/stories/2003/06/16/linksToSomeOfMyBetterPublishedWork.html

(And I can give a brief update on the three captains, if people are interested.)

rob7

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2006, 02:43:27 PM »
Dave,
Thanks for the links.....   It's almost like reading my life story......you really got your facts right, and cqptured the
feelings that gay/bi officers have.  Yes would be interested on an update on the 3 captains.
(Captain)  Rob7 

Offline mountain boy

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2006, 02:48:13 PM »
Yes, definitely would like to hear the update Dave!

Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2006, 11:36:03 AM »
The quick update:

They all were on three-year tours and transferred a couple times since.

Drake, the Marine. Real name John. He tried being more straight for a little while, got a girlfriend, finally figured out he was gay all the way. He got out about a year ago. Came back to live in Denver. He seems happy.

Publication of the story had a huge impact on the other two. Brought some things to the surface.

The filipino decided to give in to his father's wishes and agreed to an arranged marriage, with a woman flown in from Asia. That seemed fine at first, because the couple really hit it off. But before the marriage, she figured it out, it blew up in his face, almost ended his career, but caused him to finally see how ridiculous the whole thing was. He told his dad off, and they eventually made their peace.

He has been doing great since, and plans to stay in for 20 years. He's had a couple lengthy boyfriends, though the moving every few years has hurt.

We stayed friends and he was actually just visiting. He's a great guy. He made major awhile back.

So did the other one, who was intent on making general (I forget the assumed names I gave them.)
 
That third guy made the most dramatic turnaround. He was kinda shocked to see himself in print, because he didn't like some of the picture. He thought it was dead-on, but . . . fucked up. He decided his priorities were out of whack, and he opened himself up to a relationship and found one rather quickly. He fell in love, and they have been together ever since. His boyfriend moved with him to his next station, and they bought a house together, and are basically married. I don't stay in close touch with him anymore, but last I heard, he was planning to get out fairly soon, when this tour ended. He wants to be a husband and be happy and be himself, and that's more important to himi than the army now.

rob7

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2006, 01:04:33 PM »
Thanks Dave,
I think it is great you have been able to stay in touch with the guys and see what different paths their lives take.
For the most part, most military guys think of themselves as "straight" while knowing deep in their hearts  that they
are gay or bi.  Having a relationship with another military guy is normally destined to be a short affair as the complications
of two guys from the same unit/duty station...is just to risky and cumbersome.

In overseas assignments, another thing I found interesting was the troops from gay friendly countries ( ie England, Australia, etc )
were great to be around and had none of the problems that US military personnel have with sex, regardless of their
orientation.

An Aussie Officer I know says that "it's a good thing you Yanks can fight, cause you sure as hell can't drink, .....and you have all
kinds of hangups about sex"

I guess thats the thought for the day  :)

Offline Willhoite

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Re: If the army don't get me: Gays, friends, and the military
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2006, 02:13:09 PM »
On topic here in relation to Jack Twist: If Jack had been drafted into the US Army, he would have had to spend two years active duty and then four years either in an Army Reserve Unit or have 4 years of inactive reserve status, subject to be recalled back to regular duty at any time.

In the 1960s in the USA, every young man who had reached the age 18 officially had a six-year obligation to serve in the US Military. Since the "Selective Service System" (aka draft boards) were rather selective, not everyone was called to serve even if they had to have a pre-induction physical with written exams to be taken.

If a person volunteered for active duty to begin with, he still had a 6 year obligation; but, he would have to serve 3 or more years of active duty with the rest inactive or in a reserve or national guard unit.

Jack was probably somewhat damaged physically before he even met Ennis in May 1963, since he had been riding bulls for a while.

Ennis probably got exempt from the draft because he got married and had a child in 1964.

But, if they had been in more or less physical shape when it came time for them to be drafted and they had no family obligations, they probably would have been drafted because of the socio-economic status as poor ranch boys. Some people have tried to claim that people were not drafted into the Army that way; but, I know better.

When I was in Vietnam with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, most of the guys in my adminstration company who arrived in-country with the Brigade itself who were of the rank of E-4 (Specialst 4) by the time I got there were draftees. The majority of them were from lower-middle or lower-class backgrounds, even if they themselves had some college education.

From what I know about the "Uniform Code of Military Justice," (UCMJ) the laws which apply to all the US Military, the US Military is the only US Federal institution where it is still illegal to be homosexual.

When I was clerking for JAG officers, there was no "adultery" clause in the UCMJ, but there was a "sodomy" one.

Oh, while I was a college grad and had been a teacher for a year when I got my 2nd draft notice, I was not in very good physical shape and that was due to lack of physical activity and being overweight. I had got a teaching deferment after I got my first draft notice after college because I had already signed a teaching contract and the fact that I was a foreign language teacher helped even more. I chose not to teach again in the same town for a number of reasons which I won't go into here except they wanted me to stay on as a teacher.

When I got the 2nd draft notice, I was going to summer school and I was to report for duty before the end of the summer session. I talked to the Dean of Students and he told me that since my grades up to that point were "3.0," he would make sure that I got full credit for the 8 semester hours and I would be considered to be a student until the end of term, too.

It was interesting that I was in the US Army in Ft. Polk, Louisiana as a full-time active duty soldier and I was a full-time student at Northeastern State College back up in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, both at the same time.

It took a week to get fully processed into active duty and because I was in poor shape physcially, after the first week of basic training I was sent to an outfit with the official name of "Special Training Company" (STC). There were two kinds of people at STC, mental duds and physical duds (as we called them). Most of the "physical duds" had not only finished high school but had been to college, too. And, the average IQ of us physical duds was higher than most of the career NCOs in charge of our training. Us educated guys were allowed to assume leadership positions in the company when a person was transferred back to a regular basic training unit. Before I left, I was an Assistant Platoon Leader and in charge of the lower floor of the barracks where we stayed. STC had two platoons.

I was at STC for 6 weeks and then send back as a "recycle" to a unit which was beginning its 2nd week of basic training. So, it took me 14 weeks to complete 8 weeks of basic training. Since I did not choose to retake the test for Officers Candidate School, I was sent to clerk-typist training instead. At the end of the 8 weeks for that, I missed being first in the class by one point. I was sort of glad of that because I did not have to go up and salute the training brigade commander.
" . . . he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream . . . it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong."