As we see the end of DADT, I feel its a little cliché to say that today, I’m a little bit prouder to be an American. It is true, however. For nearly 20 years and even before the implementation of DADT, service members have had to hide in the shadows, watch themselves for fear of saying something incriminating, doing something incriminating, living a double life so to speak or even forced into a life they did not want to live. Well today, NO MORE!
I’m sure there will still be some issues to overcome as not everyone is open to the idea. It may take awhile before those who defend and protect our country feel comfortable in doing so as truly themselves. But it’s a HUGE step of progression and at least they can no longer be discharged for whom they love.
Today as I sit and reflect on the gravity of this historic day, I am proud. I’m also happy that someone I call a friend can now openly declare her feelings and marry the woman she loves. That she will no longer have to speak or write to her partner stationed far away in cryptic code so that nobody will catch on to their feelings. I’m happy that service members all over this world can hold their heads a little higher today. That a soldiers honor and respect is no longer contingent upon their sexuality. For those who wanted to serve but were too afraid or ashamed, now can safely and proudly.
For all you who have served, are still serving or are going to serve….. I honor you today in these words and in my thoughts. Without dedicated, giving people such as yourselves, we would not be the country we are today. Know that many people are celebrating your lives and this victory. Stand tall, be proud, but most importantly….be you. To all of you heroic service members, I salute you.