“Of course I did, and I would do it again”

Jason Knight was described as “better than the average sailor.” Is that why the Navy called him back for active duty, even promoted him, after he was discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, or is it because morality and concerns about unit cohesion take a backseat when the need for troops is so great?

I spent four years in the Navy, buried fallen servicemembers as part of the Ceremonial Guard, served as a Hebrew Linguist in Navy Intelligence, and received awards for exemplary service,” he wrote in a letter to Stripes. “However, because I was gay, the Navy discharged me and recouped my 13k sign-on bonus. Nine months later, the Navy recalled me to active duty. Did I accept despite everything that happened? Of course I did, and I would do it again. Because I love the Navy and I love my country. And despite Pace’s opinion, my shipmates support me.”

From Stars & Stripes:

The renewed debate includes suggestions that the Pentagon is less interested in kicking out gay servicemembers during war. Pentagon stats show that discharges of gay servicemembers dropped to 612 in 2006. The peak of such discharges was in 2001, when 1,273 were reported.

The numbers have fallen steadily each year — from 906 in 2002 to 787 in 2003, and on down. At a time when the Pentagon is struggling to meet recruiting goals, many point to the numbers as a wartime trend. Others reject that claim. And the majority of servicemembers are still opposed to openly serving gay troops.

I don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone does, whether that last sentence is true.  Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has posted data from at least two polls that suggest otherwise.

Pam has more, including a second —different—example of military life under DADT.

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