HRC Blog

Virginia Veterans Speak Out for Repeal

The following is from HRC Field Organizer Sarah Showalter:

On Wednesday, Virginia veterans called on Senators Webb and Warner to vote in favor of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal at a community forum at the Five Points Community Farm Market in Norfolk. The forum followed the release of the Pentagon’s study, which shows that the majority of our military service members have no problem with gays and lesbians serving openly.

Veteran Gary Crouse shared his story of having to hide his identity during his time in the Navy.  “As a free society, asking someone to hide who they are is ridiculous.”  He said that repeal of the law will make the military stronger, by allowing LGB service members to concentrate on their jobs without worrying about being fired.  Fellow United States Navy veteran, David Crandall, spoke about his experience as a part of the human resources team that added 50 women to his crew. “The military has historically led the country on integration of minorities of race and gender. This is no different. It needs to be done now.”

Speakers at the forum stressed that during combat situations they never cared about the sexual orientation of the person next to them.  They only cared that everyone knew how to do the job.  These stories from veterans, along with the positive results of the study, show that the time for repeal is now. If you are a family member of a veteran or active duty service member from Virginia, please call Senator Webb’s office today at 202-224-4024 and ask him to put aside politics and pass the National Defense Authorization Act with language that repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” To get involved in our DADT efforts in Virginia, please call Sarah Showalter at 804-283-5435 or email me at sarah.showalter@hrc.org. Time is short. We need your help.

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