Now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed, I’ve been looking around to see what is happening in regards to our LGBT veterans. Seems a lot of organizations think the repeal fixed everything. They have moved on to other issues and just dropped us veterans to the wayside without any regards for the debris left behind.
I guess many of them feel we should be left to fend for ourselves and our issues are no longer important to continue to educate and talk to the government or the VA about as the repeal healed all. WRONG! There is still so much work to be done and it’s as if the rest of us are being buried under the carpet.
We need to make the general public aware that many veterans are still being denied services because they were given dishonorable or general discharges for their lifestyles. What about those who served honorably and were discharged as a fraudulent enlistment, did the repeal help them?
We still have LGBT veterans afraid to expose their lifestyle to the VA in fear of reprisal. We have others afraid to use the VA. We have others afraid of losing benefits if exposed. Does this sound like the work is completed?
I think it’s time we speak up and let these organizations know the work has just begun and to not ignore the needs of these veterans still out there needing help, help that they justly deserve for the courage and bravery of defending our country.
Why is it that because one step is taking that it seems so many thinks all the pain and agony goes away. All the healing takes effect immediately. It puzzles me not only as a veteran, but as a human being, how people can all of a sudden say all the wounds have been healed and problems solved with one action.
I, for one, see a more different picture one where we have just started to make progress and now need to focus more on how to help those who, over the years, were deeply affected by having to live to separate lives.
Now is not the time to turn our heads away, but a time to oversee the damage and work on damage control. This can only be done by organizations that continue to be involved in VA and public awareness of what the damage is and what we need to help our LGBT veterans.