The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is quickly approaching. On September 20th the repeal and certification process officially is complete and the sexuality that a person is born will no longer be grounds for discharge. As we approach this historic day that marks the end of seventeen years of institutionalized discrimination former and active duty service members are telling their stories of how they made it through and what it was like to endure.
GQ magazine has collected some of these stories and presents them here.
Like the story of Eric Alva, the first American injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When Alva signed up, before "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," he had to lie on his paperwork. "I knew I was lying," he says. "But I loved what I did, I loved my job, and I didn’t want to tell anyone. I said, ‘It’s going to be my secret.’ I knew I was not going to be happy in a way, but I knew this was what I wanted." In 2003 he was deployed to the Middle East, and on March 21 he crossed the border from Kuwait. His unit was part of a huge convoy that stopped outside Basra. Alva got out of his Humvee and went to fetch something from the back of the vehicle. "That’s when I triggered the IED. I was awake, my hearing was sort of gone. My hand was covered in blood and part of my index finger was gone. The chaplain was holding my head and I was telling him I didn’t want to die. I was taken off a helicopter in Kuwait—it was estimated that I was only in Iraq about three hours—and carried into surgery. I woke up later and when I looked down I saw that the right side of my sheet was flat. I cried myself asleep, only to wake up hours later and see that it’s true: My leg is gone."
DADT not only affected the lives of those who risked their lives on the battlefield. It also took a toll on those they loved.
"The relationship lasted for about four years, but I always felt like I was disrespecting him, to have to pretend he didn’t exist when I went to work. When I got deployed, he was there with my family when I left. It kind of sucked—to shake his hand and a little pat on the back and ‘I’ll see you when I see you’ kind of thing. And when you’re getting ready to come back, the spouses were getting classes—here’s how you welcome your Marine back into the family—and my boyfriend didn’t get any of that. I had a really hard time adjusting to being home. We tried to make it work for a year but he was getting more and more paranoid about people finding out about us. It killed me that he felt that way because of me. I don’t think we ever really had a chance, ultimately."
For some DADT became the weapon used by haters.
The harassment grew worse. Of a number of escalating events—Rocha was also force-fed dog food and locked into a shit-filled dog kennel—the most abusive and explicitly homophobic was when he was ordered by his commander to act in a dog-training scenario, repeated over and over so that every dog in the unit could be run through it. "The scenarios were supposed to be relevant to what the dogs or the handlers would experience. Like a domestic dispute, or an armed individual who has been spotted on the base, or someone strapped with explosives. This day he chose that the scenario would be that I would be getting caught giving another service member a blow job and, once the dogs came in, I was supposed to jump up from having been in between this guy’s legs. He would coach as to how exactly he wanted it played out, which was the sickest part of it." Rocha says he had to act this out between half a dozen and a dozen times, about fifteen to twenty minutes each time. As they repeated it, his commander ordered Rocha to make the scenario more extreme. "He wanted me to be very queer and flamboyant. He wanted me to pretend like there was stuff on my face. Loving it so much that each scenario was gayer and more disgusting—the introduction of fake semen, that I would have to wipe my face, or that I would have to make slurping noises. The level of humiliation I experienced that day, that’s when I knew I wasn’t safe in the military."
I highly recommend heading over there and reading more http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201109/dont-ask-dont-tell-gay-soldiers-military#ixzz1WAXDJMrl
A company of couriers in the employ of Lord Markelhay of Fallcrest has found themselves held up in the small town of Duponde, where the King’s road crosses the Nentir River. Unfortunately both of the town’s bridges were damaged in recent flooding, so the group’s journey south to the city of Sarthel is on hold.
The group took lodging at the Old Owl Inn where they were treated to stories of ghosts and wizards. All seemed ordinary in the town of Duponde until nightfall. The group was awaked by a strange sensation of dread and evil. Rushing from their rooms they found Harald, the Innkeeper, lying unconscious at the foot of the stairs. The group was attacked by three stone gargoyles. After a nearly disastrous battle, the group dispatched the gargoyles and successfully roused Harald.
As Harald, Tilda, and the three dwarves (Arc, Jaren, and Davrin) began to barricade themselves into the Inn, the group headed out into the streets of Duponde to try and determine what was going on.
As the group moved through the streets the darkness and dread circled in all around them. Their lights seemed to struggle to illuminate their path. In the distance they could hear the screams of townsfolk and through the windows they could see the frightened faces. The quickly came to realize that the entire town had become victim of a Shadowfell, and was now in the plane of shadow.
The group finally came upon Grimbold, the Marshall of Duponde, and a couple of town guards. Grimbold asked the group for help and they quickly accepted. After a quick discussion it was decided that the group would head to the Armory, which had become invested, preventing the guards from getting to their arms and armor.
Upon arriving at the armory the group found it to be invested with masses of spiders. As the group struggled to rid the armory of them, a Giant Deathjump spider jumped from the roof and attacked.
The group overcame the spiders and reclaimed the armory for the town guard.
After clearing the armory the group heads off into the streets and quickly encounters a group of two-headed drakes about the size of large dogs and a large shadow bolter. The group overcomes the shadow creatures and are thanked by a group of townsfolk.