The Push is on for DADT Repeal
July 8, 2009
Ed. Note: This post is from Jarrod Chlapowski, a U.S. Army veteran who recently joined the Human Rights Campaign to consult on ending the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Having been trained as a Korean linguist and cryptologic voice interceptor, he served in Korea, supporting the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion on more than 300 sensitive reconnaissance operation missions. Chlapowskichose not to re-enlist in the Army because of the excessive burden of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. As my best friend from the Army Steve Vossler always says, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. He is fond of that phrase for good reason: any task in the Army was always made ridiculously more difficult when enthusiasm replaced caution and due diligence was ignored. This is a motto I’vetaken to heart since I replaced my active duty kevlar with a veteran hat, and one I’ve applied to my own perceptions of activism in the movement for repeal over the past few years. With the lack of general demand for repeal even three years ago, the focus had mostly lain on bringing the issue to the mainstream, on bringing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” out of a complacent status quo while reminding the public that Congress was not ready to really tackle the issue head-on. Slow is smooth. Today, DADT has hit the mainstream, and the public is no longer complacent with the law. Iraq veteran Congressman Patrick Murphy has officially announced taking on the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which demonstrates the enthusiasm the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom generation has for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United has launched the Voices of Honor Tour, an aggressive nationwide initiative of gay and straight veterans aiming to bring the argument for repeal to the next level. Over the next few months, veterans from the tour will be posting on this blog about their experiences fighting for repeal, as well as their own experiences serving under DADT. Some voices are familiar, some are fresh, but all come from those who have served with honor. And as smooth becomes fast, you can be sure HRC is putting our all in preparing the public for inevitable repeal.