I now work on an Air Force base (Hanscom AFB in Lexington, Massachusetts). Until today, the airmen and women I see on base every day were working under the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. During the 18 years DADT has been in effect, more than 11,000 service men and women have been fired from the armed services simply because they happen to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
As a civilian employee working on base, I have been allowed to keep a simple "You Are Welcome Here" card posted on the wall in my office. Up until now, the air force personnel I work with could not.
Today, Tuesday September 20th, 2011, will be different :-)
The U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy officially ended 5 and a half hours ago. What an incredible day for our country and the men and women of the armed services.
And in a sweet celebration of the death of the discriminatory law, at 12:01am this morning, Lt. Gary Ross wore his Navy uniform as he married to his partner of 11 years in Vermont.
To Lt. Ross and his partner, and to all the gay men and women serving in the armed services today and who have served in the past: congratulations. And thank you for your service.