South Dakota Veterans Make their Voices Heard

Posted on 07 Aug 2010 at 4:44pm

Iraq veteran Devin Oliver, Johnson staffer, Vietnam veteran Roger Blair, Michael Pyle from Young Democrats of America, Johnson staffer

The Argus Leader recently printed a letter from Lynn, a Sioux Falls veteran who supports repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Lynn writes:

I was in the Navy before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but it’s time for Congress to repeal this law.

The ban on gays and lesbians in the military always has been a vague threat for those of us who choose to serve. As a veteran who served in a reconnaissance attack squadron in Key West during the 1970s, there were few women stationed with me, and many of us volunteered for the hardest duties possible to prove our worth.

I knew of seven good women who were brilliant at their jobs but were discharged in a lesbian witch hunt. It saddens me that since 1993, we have lost more than 14,000 military personnel to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell discharges. No doubt many would have made the military their career and given a lifetime of service.

Across the state last week, staff from Senator Johnson’s Rapid City office took time to sit down with veterans and supporters to discuss “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. Devin, a straight Iraq veteran, told of his experience serving with gay and lesbian servicemembers and Roger shared his experience during Vietnam.

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Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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