by Chris Bodenner
A reader writes:
Repeal of DADT is the keystone in the arch towards homosexual equality in America. The country is fragmented and polarized: politically, economically, socially, and culturally. The pillar we have left for "One America" are the service men and women in the US armed forces. This is not new. This is not a surprise.
We, Americans, are overwhelmingly unified in support of our service men and women. Again and again, they are held up as an example for the rest of us. As an example of what we can be if we act as one. When a D-Day veteran stretcher-bearer in Maine argues for equality for his son, we see he is right, even if the politicians and courts do not. When Obama defends the right to build a mosque, he does so by saying he was speaking to an audience that included muslim veterans who had served for years - and we know he is right. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin hold a rally to honor our service men and women.
Women, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Japanese Americans all served gallantly in WWII. Although their service was not immediately translated into equality and freedom at home, it planted the undeniable and unstoppable seed. The tree upon which the fruit of freedom and equality ripened.
Right or wrong, fair or not, in the era of Vietnam we lost the pillar that service men and women once were. Since 9/11, we Americans have re-built this pillar. This is very fortunate, because so many other pillars have crumbled.
When we say "service men and women," we mean service for our equality and freedom. It is not only on the battlefield. It has been, and will continue to be, serving as an example of what equality, liberty and freedom can mean, and what potential America has to be a great nation. When homosexuals serve openly in the armed forces there will be only one direction for the rest of America to go. We will follow their lead.
The photo was taken by my father in 1972, when he was a recon platoon leader in Vietnam. Of the three men in the photo, two were his dual pointmen, two were gay, and one was a super-conservative country boy from Georgia (as were the majority of the men in the platoon). Go here to find out who is who. You may be surprised.