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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 31, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 53
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

WELCOME HOME, HERO VETERANS!
There have been a few of us Gay and Lesbian military veterans in central Washington who have come out of the closet for various reasons. Me, I came out in the early 1990s because of the presidential campaign issue of the Gays in the military. As I have stated several times in my 60-something different letters to the editor to the local newspapers, I ETSed with an honorable discharge in 1983 from the regular Army and enlisted into the Individual Ready Reserve until 1986. Others weren't so lucky. I had it 'rough' with the investigations and interrogations, but I survived to be promoted to SSG/E6.

However, there were others (Cold War or Veterans of Foreign Wars) before, during, and after my time who had it much rougher than me, which included dishonorable discharges and even imprisonment. 'Some gave all, all gave some.'

Today, whenever I watch troops deploy or come back from the current war, I think about the Gay and Lesbian military personnel. They can't say goodbye to their loved ones or be welcomed home like their non-Gay counterparts. Or have their loved ones' photos displayed. If they do, they are 'my sister' or 'my brother,' etc. Or they can't always have private long-distance conversations with their loved ones on the phone or through cyberspace for fear of being outed or monitored.

Even though they do need to wait until the law is completely executed, I say 'Welcome home,' heroes!

Gayle Sorlien

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