Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Army Lt. Daniel Choi

Via Think Progress, Rachel Maddow and many others.

In support of the LGBT community and a fellow member of the Asian-American community, it is time for action. Lt. Daniel Choi is doing the right thing, he is bringing the matter to the public, having the President keep his word and making a simple argument.

We shouldn't alienate anyone for serving our country based on differences, it is those differences they so honorably defend. The letter is worth the read.

Excerpt from the Letter Lt. Choi sent to President Obama:

The Department of the Army sent a letter discharging me on April 23rd. I will not lie to you; the letter is a slap in the face. It is a slap in the face to me. It is a slap in the face to my soldiers, peers and leaders who have demonstrated that an infantry unit can be professional enough to accept diversity, to accept capable leaders, to accept skilled soldiers.

My subordinates know I’m gay. They don’t care. They are professional.

Further, they are respectable infantrymen who work as a team. Many told me that they respect me even more because I trusted them enough to let them know the truth. Trust is the foundation of unit cohesion.

After I publicly announced that I am gay, I reported for training and led rifle marksmanship. I ordered hundreds of soldiers to fire live rounds and qualify on their weapons. I qualified on my own weapon. I showered after training and slept in an open bay with 40 other infantrymen. I cannot understand the claim that I “negatively affected good order and discipline in the New York Army National Guard.” I refuse to accept this statement as true.

As an infantry officer, I am not accustomed to begging. But I beg you today: Do not fire me. Do not fire me because my soldiers are more than a unit or a fighting force – we are a family and we support each other. We should not learn that honesty and courage leads to punishment and insult. Their professionalism should not be rewarded with losing their leader. I understand if you must fire me, but please do not discredit and insult my soldiers for their professionalism.

When I was commissioned I was told that I serve at the pleasure of the President. I hope I have not displeased anyone by my honesty. I love my job. I want to deploy and continue to serve with the unit I respect and admire. I want to continue to serve our country because of everything it stands for.

Please do not wait to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Please do not fire me

Very Respectfully,

Daniel W. Choi
New York Army National Guard

You can contact the White House and request for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. This is the kind of change I believe in.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.

1 comment:

Paddy K said...

Thanks for posting this. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is probably one of the worst legacies of Clinton's piss-poor management of the US military.

Homosexuality has nothing to do with military service one way or the other.