|Me (upper left) and my buddies (Collier, Bill Allen, Dave Hagerstrom, Dick Egan and Duane Osten) at the Army Security Agency Training School at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, May 1960|
Want to know what unit cohesion is all about? Look at the above picture that was taken fifty years ago when I attended the Army Security Agency training school in Ft. Devens. All of us smart guys were training to be communications intercept guys. We weren't being trained as combat troops. But if we were in combat, don't you think we would have all looked out for one another? You're damned right!
This is a group picture of six soldiers taken back in the Bad Old Days of witch hunting for homosexuals. Two of these soldiers (me and another unnamed soldier) were gay. We lied about who we were just to survive. We didn't choose to have top secret clearances and be subject to witch hunting. All we wanted to do was volunteer our services for the good of this country. My entire three years of active service duty was served with the knowledge that any time I could be outed and discharged from the Army with a less than honorable discharge simply for the fact that I was gay. Not because of any activity I did (which was none) but for the plain and simple fact that I was a homosexual. I was lucky. I managed to serve my three years without being found out. Some of my fellow soldiers weren't so lucky.
With the Senate repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law yesterday, now maybe some young soldier in the future can volunteer and put their life on the line defending this country and not have to worry about being discovered as gay. This is a development that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.
All I can say now is that I am on a wonderful natural high that finally, FINALLY this Congress has done something right. It stopped legalized discrimination against a section of the citizens of this country yesterday. Will wonders never cease?
Now to legalize same sex marriages. Oh yes. It will happen.