12/17/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Jared Polis discussed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on Chris Matthew’s Hardball today. For Gillibrand, there was another issue that she came to discuss, that of the Zadroga bill. The Zadroga bill has been getting quite a lot of press time today because of the work of Jon Stewart, who devoted his final episode of the year to that issue, and even decimated Mike Huckabee as he tried, desperately, to make it seem as if the Democrats are the ones responsible for the bill being delayed.
At a time when this is coming to a head, Jezebel.com printed a letter from a gay service member. Here is just a part of it, and it can be read in full on their site.
The silence is the hardest part. I listen intently as my fellow soldiers talk about facing the reality of leaving their loved ones for a year and all the life events that will be missed. I don’t talk about my own experience at all, because it’s easier to come across as cold and removed than to risk slipping and mentioning that my loved one is of the same gender. For all I know, there are other gay soldiers in my unit, ones who understand what I’m going through. My gay friends in civilian life are supportive, but they don’t often understand the military or soldiering. That camouflage is another burden I carry as I prepare to leave.
It is this service and this nation that men like Senators John McCain and Bob Corker disrespect when they threaten to hold up ratification of the START treaty just in order to prevent our lesbian and gay service members from serving openly.