As a former U.S. Marine I am disappointed by the high percentage of combat Marines who say that band should not be lifted but I do understand why. They are under a misconception that a gay Marine is attempting to take advantage of them or run away when the going got tough. They are not aware that when you earn the title Marine something inside of you changes and that change makes you stand tall for your fellow Marine and if necessary take that bullet which had his/her name on it without missing a beat. They do not understand that with that title comes more than just the right to wear “the blues”, what comes with it is the ultimate respect for “the blues”.
“The Pentagon’s study on gays in the military has determined that overturning the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on serving openly might cause some disruption at first but would not create widespread or long-lasting problems.” “The study provides ammunition to congressional Democrats struggling to overturn the law.” “But even with the release of Tuesday’s report, there is no indication they can overcome fierce Republican objections with just a few weeks left in this year’s postelection congressional session.” “Still, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said Congress should act quickly because of a recent effort by a federal judge to overturn the law.” “Gates said the military needs time to prepare for such an adjustment, even though he said he didn’t envision any changes to housing or other personnel policies. He said a sudden, court-issued mandate would significantly increase the risk of disruption.” “The co-chairs of the study, Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army Gen. Carter Ham , wrote, “We are both convinced that our military can do this, even during this time of war.” “Overall, the survey found that some two-thirds of troops don’t care if the ban is lifted. Of the 30 percent who objected, most were members of combat units.” (Flaherty, Anne, 11/30/2010, Associated Press, Pentagon study dismisses risk of openly gay troops, Retrieved from www.news.yahoo.com ).
The Marines will overcome and adapt because that’s what we do best. Fighting, showering and dwelling with them have been gay Marines that they were not aware of. They partied with them and relied on them. They trusted them and watched over them. It will not be any different now than it was before. For those who have never served but pretend to know better than those that have, please excuse yourself. For those who have or are serving and still can not see what their bias is doing to the entire unit as a whole, get over yourself. When it comes to recruitment, I believe that the numbers will grow quite fast and recruitment will no longer be an issue because for those who have always felt the call to serve will now be allowed to answer it.