Local gay veteran reacts to DADT vote: ‘Now is the time to regroup, refuel and attack again’

Dave Guy-Gainer

Dave Guy-Gainer, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant from Tarrant County who serves on the board of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, sent over the below statement in response to Tuesday’s Senate vote halting progress on the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”:

“There is a difference between a war and a battle. Today we lost a battle. Everyone knew going into today’s vote that it would be a close fight. Split directly down party lines, with the exception of Arizona, we lost. The war is not over. After the vote, Senator Levin turned to former AF Major Mike Almy and said, ‘We aren’t done yet.’ Now is the time to regroup, refuel and attack again. We’ll see this scenario again in December and again and again until repeal happens. It will happen! Between now and then, the voices of our community and our allies must become louder and more incessant than ever before. This is NOT a political issue — this is a discrimination issue. After 17 years we cannot give up now! We are still alive in the senate and in the courts.”

Gainer added that he was interviewed by Fox 4 for its 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news broadcasts Tuesday, and he’s scheduled to appear live on the station at 9 p.m. Also on the 5 and 6 p.m. broadcasts will be interviews with two servicemembers from North Texas who were discharged under DADT, Marine Cpl. Danny Hernandez and Michael Moore. And Moore will join Gainer live at 9 p.m.

—  John Wright

Discharged Marine is a Texas native, and his letter to Obama served as his big coming out

Marine Cpl. Danny Hernandez
Marine Cpl. Danny Hernandez

When I posted a letter here yesterday from Marine Lance Cpl. Danny Hernandez to President Barack Obama, I had no idea that Hernandez was a Texan.

Hernandez contacted me this morning to say, “Thanks for the post — and oh, by the way, I’m from Paradise (a town of 400 northwest of Fort Worth near Decatur).”

The 22-year-old Hernandez, discharged from the Marines nine weeks ago for being gay, graduated from Paradise High School and then from Texas A&M University last year. His letter was part of a Servicemembers Legal Defense Network campaign aimed at repealing DADT.

But here’s the kicker: Hernandez said the letter also served his big coming out.

—  John Wright

Marine discharged under DADT to President Barack Obama: 'Please be faithful to me'

LCpl. Danny Hernandez
Lance Cpl. Danny Hernandez

Well we missed a few days, but better late than never right? On Monday the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network launched a new media campaign called, “Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama,” which aims to underscore the urgent need to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” From SLDN’s press release about the series.

Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law.  We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal.”

Which brings us to today’s letter, part three of the 16-part series. It comes from Lance Cpl. Danny Hernandez, a former Marine discharged nine weeks ago after being outed by a third party. Below is a snippet from the letter, and I’ve posted the full text after the jump. To read previous letters, go here.

“Upon earning the title of Marine, I took an oath and vowed to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This enemy is a domestic one, and with your direction as Commander and Chief, this is a war in which we can be victorious.

“‘Semper Fidelis’ is the Marine Corps motto meaning “Always Faithful.” Not only am I willing and anxious to go overseas, but I am prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect our freedoms.

“I have remained faithful to my country; please be faithful to me.”


—  John Wright