We are lucky to be young in the country of opportunities where we can pursue every dream, every desire, and every crazy idea that might cross our minds and have a real chance of being rewarded with money, success, and social recognition for doing what we love and what we dream of. For many, serving in the military is associated with the heroic service to their nation and a real opportunity to prove their patriotism while learning to be the best version of themselves. Choosing to join the army is a noble and admirable step and everyone has to have an opportunity to do it following an inner call, no matter what God one warships, what economic background one comes from, and whom one falls in love with.
Just until very recently, the attitude of the American army towards gays was guided by the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and was completely refusing homosexual individuals who wanted to serve before this policy was adopted as a compromise (Powers, 2018). This means that sexual orientation as part of one’s self-identity was considered to be determining of one’s ability to ever serve the army. This is similar to being refused a car rental because of one’s being a college student with the only difference being the fact that being a college student is temporal while being homosexual is not. In other words, making it impossible for people to build a military career just because they are gays suggests that being gay somehow affects every aspect of who they are and how they live in the way that makes them profoundly incapable of serving in the military which is clearly a nonsense. Everyone should be allowed to follow their dreams.
Homosexuals have proven to be great servants of the American army on the number of occasions, starting with gays serving during the WWII to make up for the shortage, to Vietnam war, and until today. Sadly, however, even among those were honored with special awards some were dismissed from the army just for being gay (Benes, 2016). Doesn’t it seem somewhat contradictory to honor someone’s special qualities and performance in the military just to say later on that none of this counts if you are a gay? The military should hold true to its high standards and not fall into discriminatory sentiments that allow for groundless dismissal of the best members.
As Americans, we are raised to believe that everything is possible if one works hard enough and that every dream is worth being pursued. These are our core national beliefs and I am certain that all key social institutions, including the American army, should correspond to them. Being authentic and honest should not stand in the way of one reaching his or her dreams and being gay should not be a barrier to pursuing a military career in the military if this nation is true to the values it promotes.
- Benes, R. (2016). How Exclusion From the Military Strengthened Gay Identity in America. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/how-exclusion-from-the-military-strengthened-gay-identity-in-america-125267/.
- Powers, R. (2018). Policies Concerning Homosexuals in the U.S. Military. The Balance Careers. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/policy-concerning-homosexuals-us-military-3347134.