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Courage Campaign

July 7th, 2009 by skippy

Lt. Dan Choi is being fired from the military for refusing to lie about who he loves

Help him keep fighting by signing this letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”


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31 Responses to “Courage Campaign”

  1. TGOBG Says:

    As a member of the Military for over 26 years, I really dont care at all what your sexual preference is. Do you job, do it well keep yourself and your teammates alive. I honestly would rather have someone who is in a happy loving and stable relationship working with or for me than have someone who is out at bars all night picking up random people for cheap thrills. I have been married to the same wonderful woman for almost 25 year, she put up with me being gone almost half the time. if the LT’s partner stands with him good for him. just because someone is gay doesnt mean they are not capable of doing the job as a military member. if we can have openly Gay people in congress and serving at the highest offices of the government, there is no reason the lowest ranking soldier cant have the same right. The military has a rule against public displays of affection. Enforce that rule across the board and forget this dont ask dont tell. if anything it reeks of the witch hunts of the MacCarthy era where Communists and Homosexuals were prosecuted to make insecure weak minded people feel good about themselves


    bdrlen reply on February 18th, 2010 12:57 pm:

    What he said ^


  2. M578Jockey Says:

    I had a gay roomate my first tour in Germany back in the early 80’s. I found out quite by accident one Sunday afternoon. I was never one to spend a lot of time in GI bars, I spoke German so I would go downtown and go to German clubs. My roomate and I were talking about what we had done over the weekend and he mentioned the name of the bar he had been too. I recognized the name of the bar as a gay bar and my jaw hit the ground. I had had no clue that he was gay. He saw from the look on my face that I knew his secret. I have never seen such a look af naked fear in my life. He was afraid that I would spread his secret, with good reason since one of the units on post had just locked a gay soldier in a wall locker and thrown him out a 2nd floor window, with no repercussions. I told him that I didn’t care if he was doing billy goats, just stay out of my bunk. And I never said a word to anyone about it.

    What I have found amusing since I got out is that anyone I meet who is gay automatically wants nothing to do with me after they find out I was in the military, even my cousin who has known me since I was born. They all assume I am a raging homophobe. Now if I ever assumed anything like that about them because they were gay, they would have the ACLU hang me by my testicles from the flagpole….


  3. TeratoMarty Says:

    Thanks, Skippy. You’ve done a lot to change my perception, at least, of military men as stiff-necked homophobes. You’re good people.

    With your intelligence and novel problem-solving, you could be the future of warfare. With your irreverence, sense of fair play and understanding nature, you are the future of peace.


  4. Cris Picado Says:

    Skippy needs a book deal. I would buy it. Have it titled “PsOps Observations” or “Skippy Speaks” or something.

    At my office we have two new people who are PsyOps soldiers in their early 20’s and I mentioned I read this blog and one person promptly spoke up stating “Skippy is the patron saint of our unit. We’d have a statue to him but no one seems to know what he looks like. We use a goofy looking GI Joe posed in a “barbie dance” pose”.


  5. Minty Says:

    I got a mass email this morning about this, since I signed the petition last week. He’s been officially fired, but is still fighting it. Gods, this shit irks me. Besides, to quote my neighborhood’s favorite Day-Glo Queen, “most homophobes are people Gays wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place.”


  6. Billy Says:

    You know, despite being in the military and having a homophobic grandmother, I still find myself to be more accepting of homosexuals than some people I know. I still laugh at how often, and almost word for word, guys will say “I don’t hate gays, but if one of them ever touches me…” and yes, I signed the internet petition. They should take out that foolish rule, along with the one that landed one lady in trouble when she wore her “uniform” a particular way in a playboy magazine. Yes, she got in trouble for that.

    captcha: Viacom gumdrops, now their trying to appeal to kids.


    Rick R. reply on July 8th, 2009 11:03 am:


    Objecting to sexual assault and defending yourself against it DOES NOT mean you are homophobic. Which is what “. . . but if one of them ever touches me. . . ” means. The fact that these same guys WOULDN’T react in the same way if a hot female did the same thing is irrelevant — it’s all about whether the victim objects, and how hard.

    Just like if a guy starts feeling up a female, and she decks him. Fuck with the bear trap, get your hand broke.

    As for the people (and it’s more than “one lady” — there have been LOTS of people, male and female, in that boat) who get into trouble by posing for provocative magazine photos in uniform, or pieces thereof. . . that’s a NO GO. just like you can;t wear your uniform to particpate in activities that might bring discredit or disgrace to the service or to wear your uniform for your non-military job.

    Cashing that $50 check (or whatever) from Playboy is BOTH.


    Billy reply on July 8th, 2009 11:16 am:

    For the first part, what I laugh at isn’t the assault part, its the fact that most men that I know of say almost, word for word, the exact same thing, including the trailing off. The second part, fine you get the win on that, in actuality, I care a lot less than I seem to, I just felt like mentioning it. Its been a few years since I was in the military, but I still remember all the reasons why i’m glad i’m not in anymore. I wouldn’t hesitate to protect my country, I just perfer to not have to jump through hoops to do so.


    Stonewolf reply on July 8th, 2009 3:20 pm:

    I also find the “I don’t hate gays, but if one of them ever touches me…” thing amusing. I worked with a gay guy for two years. He hit on me once. After a simple “Sorry dude, I like girls,” that was it. We got along great and he never made me feel uncomfortable in the least. That whole homophobic thing just comes from not realizing gays and lesbos are just folk too.


    Rick R. reply on July 9th, 2009 7:37 am:

    Been there, done that. I find it somewhat flattering when someone with decent hygiene and manners politely expresses an interest in me — even if I have neither ineterest nor even curiosity.

    Just as I have never understood getting jealous when someone expresses an interest in my dates, girlfriends, (or now) wife, so long as they were polite about it, and didn’t hit on them knowing they were with me. (Some grilfriends have gotten very angry that I didn’t turn into a violently jealous freak when someone who didn’t know about me asked them out.)

    On the other hand, I have ALSO had the experience of the pushy guy who either didn’t bother to ask, or didn’t seem to understand “No” means “No”.

    In which case, I handled exactly as I expected my mother, sisters, girlfreinds, etc. to react when the same happened to them — immediate response, somewhat proportionate to the offence.

    The guy who draped himself all over me, thinking I was gay got coldly brushed off and informed I was straight. Profuse apologies, and we later beacme friends.

    The guy who grabbed my ass, thinking I was gay got his locked up beihnd his back and informed if he ever touched me again, I’d break it off and feed it to him.

    The guy who thought he could “convert” me (knowing I was straight) and grabbed my crotch while licking my ear (I guess he figured I’d had enough to drink to get away with it), got his ass beat into a whimpering, crawling mess. (He then got another beat down later that week by a gay guy who witnessed the original incident, as a gentle reminder that such conduct relects badly on gays in general. I don’t recall the beatee ever stepping over that line again. . . )


    Minty reply on July 9th, 2009 9:53 am:

    The reason why the “I don’t hate gays, but if one every touches me” statement pisses so many people off is because (at least in my experience) the (mostly) men who say it are the ones who see nothing wrong with groping women whenever they please, then wonder what the big deal is when said women get upset. Thankfully, gropers are a very small percentage of the population, straight or gay.

    And personally, I think you were right to beat the shit out of your groper. Violence may not be “politically correct,” but so’s molestation, and sexual harassment seminars obviously don’t do shit.

    Stonewolf reply on July 9th, 2009 3:02 pm:

    Well, given the full context of your experience, I think I would have responded about the same.

  7. Rick R. Says:

    From 1987 until now, I have only met a handful of servicemembers who actually gave a fuck about the sexual preference of other troops, other than the usual civilized and disciplined restrictions we felt applied to EVERYONE, regardless of orientation (not kids, not my spouse or SO, not the spouse or SO of a teammate or subordinate, not people in your chain of command — up or down, not animals, keep your indiscretions 40 discrete, limit your PDAs, etc.)

    And that handful who proclaimed they didn’t want to serve with “fairies and dykes”? They were, either assholes in general or brand new privates whose uniforms still smelled like warehouse mothballs. The first category can be shut up with “peer discipline”, and the second with “peer counseling” (to be followed by “peer discipline” if need be).

    Ultimately, it is CONGRESS (not the Pentagon, not the President) who needs to end this stupidity. The fact is that the LAW, not the military, says “No gays”. And teh military, by swearing to defend the Constitution and obey the lawful orders of their superiors, is charged with complying with the law.

    When Congress tells the military, “This conduct is not legal,” the military is stuck with trying to accomodate it as best possible — the Constitution gives Congress that authority, as part of the checks and balances against the President being the Commander in Chief.

    Of course, there will always be people who break the rules — like a certain PAC sergeant who was “in the closet” only becuase we all squinted real hard. Yeah, we all knew — while doing our best to avoid any possibility of finding inarguable evidence. And every man in the battalion would have lied their asses off to an investigator, saying how we knew that guy was straight, because we went skirt chasing together. Becuase he was one of us, and ALWAYS acted professionally.

    On the other hand, I know of one guy in another company who got dimed out by his own squad. In that case, the gay accusation (true as it was) was just being used as a method to get rid of a Blue Falcon (backstabbing SOB, to you civilian types), broke dick, non-motivated, jackass who was a liability to the unit. That wasn’t “homophobia” — it was gaming the system dump a shitbag.


    Sgt. Spooky reply on July 9th, 2009 12:27 pm:

    “peer counseling” followed by some “wall-to-wall” counseling


    Rick R. reply on July 9th, 2009 1:45 pm:

    Naw. Wall-to-Wall Counseling is an NCO leadership tool. That’s why there is an FM {grin}.

    “Peer Discipline” is the equivalent when carried out among equals. Similar to “Doorknob Hunting” (the informal term for a “Woodline Adjustment Session”).

    Blanket Parties are a form of Peer Discipline.


  8. Kitty Says:

    Let me get this right: America, land of the free (ha!) has kicked a very capable soldier out of the Forces purely because he prefers men? What the fuck?!

    What the hell has someones sexual preferences got to do with it, so long as it does not impinge on their job and professional life? Has he tried bumlove on his fellow soldiers against their will? No? Then why the hell get rid of him?

    He’s in a stable relationship with a man, so what? If he can do his job well then whats the problem. He’ll also be one of the best turned out on parade too.

    And yes I have signed the petition. The thought that a supposedly modern country can still have such inbred backward laws is beyond my understanding.

    Least the UK forces have an equal opportunities beasting policy.


    Stonewolf reply on July 8th, 2009 3:29 pm:

    What the fuck is that the United States was colonized by folk not seeking “religious freedom” but a new land where they could impose their religion as others had forced their religion on them. The only reason the 1st Amendment is written the way it is is Jefferson was particularly libertarian at the time. So today we have all kinds of laws and practices and “accepted normal behavior” which has no practical benefit and can be traced back to some religious group, notably the puritans, attempting to coerce the Government into enforcing their particular beliefs “for the good of the people”. An basic understanding of history and philosophy will easily allow one to see how most first world countries suffer this same affliction.


    Minty reply on July 9th, 2009 8:09 pm:

    Oh, they wanted religious freedom; the “freedom for my religion, not yours” variety.


  9. Stephanie Says:

    Just a quick post to remind people that while internet petitions, etc. can make one feel good, there is nothing to compare with a personal note to your Representative or Senator. On the internet, 100,000 signatures could mean 100,000 people or one person signing 100,000 times. To really get things done, please consider writing a personal letter to your congressperson with your views and contact information so they can follow up with you if desired. You’d be surprised by how many times a congressperson’s office will contact constitutients on their views.

    So long and short of it write a letter of your own and go do it now before you forget!

    Oh and as a sideline vote too – if you don’t then you aren’t saying anything at all!


  10. Kitty Says:

    wish I could Stephanie, but I’m in England. However, when America decides to get this Independance nonsence out of its system and comes back under British Rule, then we’ll have it sorted in a jiffy what.
    Stonewolf, know what you mean mate.


  11. Phantom Says:

    *shakes head*

    Why is it that kids at school can have a gay rights protest and nobody blinks an eye, but the adults in the military fire people over it?

    I dated a guy who came out as being bi a few months after the relationship ended. (Not a pretty relationship, let’s not go into that.) He was talking about something and mentioned his parents being cool with “it”.

    “Cool with what?” I replied.

    “You didn’t know?” he asked. “I’m bi.”

    “Oh, okay. So, can I borrow your polishing cloth?”

    I’m sick of people being treated differently because of their preference. One of the sweetest guys I know is gay. One of my best friends recently came out as bi. And of course, my ex. But every time I found out, I just shrug and go on with life. It doesn’t bug me. I don’t understand why it should bug people. Is that so weird of me? ARGH.


    Stonewolf reply on July 9th, 2009 3:06 pm:

    Its not weird at all. That guy I used to work with, everybody knew he was gay for about two years before he finally came out. The general response was, “Yeah, everybody knows, nobody cares.” He had been so worried about loosing all his friends and thought nobody knew, despite the fact that he made flamers look subtle.


  12. Chris Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should be redefined as follows: “Don’t Ask”: We won’t ask you about your orientation, because it doesn’t matter, and “Don’t Tell”: Act professionally and don’t do anything that makes others uncomfortable, doubly so when someone informs you that your behavior is making them uncomfortable. Both of these apply equally across the board, whether your are straight, gay, bi, tri, transgender, or whatever other orientations there might be out there.

    There is no reason for us to fire perfectly good soldiers because of their orientation. At present, we have ~500,000 soldiers in our armed forces, total. 500,000 for the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army, National Guard, and Coast Guard combined. We can’t afford to be tossing out perfectly good soldiers, because we don’t have enough to begin with.


  13. Rick R. Says:


    I somewhat agree with you as to how “Don’t ask, don’t tell” should be interpreted (althought, I think it would be better as “Don’t ask, don’t YELL”.

    The problem is that the military and the Executive branch don’t have the authority to simply ignore the underlying policy. (Keep in mind that “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was a SOFTENING of the earlier policy. Simply put, it means that the military won’t go LOOKING for gays in uniform.)

    That’s about as far as they can reasonably go, so long as Congress maintains the legal ban on homosexuality in the military. They CAN decide to make enforcement such a low priority that they don’t bother investigating anything but the most specific of cases — they CANNOT just decide to ignore the law altogether.

    It’s all in Congress’s hands — just as it always has been. Congress could have changed the law at any time, especially over the last two years where the Democrats have had solid control of BOTH houses. George W. Bush only vetoed 12 bills in eight years. (Clinton issued 37 vetoes, Bush I issued 44, Reagan issued 78, Carter issued 31. . . even Kennedy managed 21 vetoes in about two years)

    The Democrats in Congress had no real fear of a GWB veto, and probbaly could have overridden it if they chose. (Of course, they didn’t even try during the period where they had control of both houses and the White House for two years. And they haven’t even tried to pass a bill since January.)

    How hard would it be to pop up a bill — it need not be 1000 pages; it could be a mere 1 page, couple of paragraphs that states that the military is not permitted to discriminate against homosexuals, and such sections of the law that contradict that are repealed. Pass it on a voice vote, toss it on Obama’s desk. Don’t tell me they have been so tied up all this time that they couldn’t take the time to introduce it and get it run up.

    But they (the Democrats) do not WANT to go on record with this issue, and the President does not want to go on record. It will cost the Democrats far too many votes. It’s pure political expediency.

    And after all, they figure they’ll get the vast majority of the LGBT vote by default, even if they NEVER pass it. They’ll just blame the military, like they have since 1992.


  14. Sgt. Spooky Says:

    First of all, I’m in the FL ARNG (CAV unit, used to be INF). I cant speak for any other units or branches, but there is no way anybody could accuse us of being homophobic. Every single training period, doesn’t matter if were there for a weekend drill, 2 week AT, or for a 12 month deployment to the sandbox, get any of us together for longer than 15 minutes and it just turns into one long gay joke. By gay joke, I don’t mean bashing gays, or making light of others differences, I mean that if anybody from our civilian lives were to show up, they would immediately come to the conclusion that were all one huge closet case of same-sex-having, absolute homosexuals. Constant jokes about spooning together in the field, ass smacking, group shower jokes, etcetera, its good times. Obviously none of us actually are homosexual (at least not to my knowledge) just a group of people that are secure enough about their own sexuality and masculinity to be able to joke about it. Now I don’t know if this is just a national guard thing, an infantry thing, or if this is common across all branches of service. Like I said there isn’t anyone openly gay in the unit, but if they were, id like to think that they wouldn’t be treated any differently. Personally, I don’t see that it actually matters. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was first enacted many, many years ago, in a different age. Their original rationale was preventing soldiers from seeking sexual gratification from among their own ranks. This is also an age were women were not allowed in a combat zone. I think we have moved past this as a country and as a culture, have collectively matured as a national identity, to the point were gays are more or less, accepted in our society. This policy is, in my opinion, no longer applicable in this day and age, and should be abolished. Of course, I believe all this hoopla over denying gay marriage is a load of BS as well. But that’s for another rant. I’ll get off the soapbox now.


    Rick R. reply on July 9th, 2009 1:41 pm:

    Um, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is only 17 years old.

    It replaced the previous policy of actively seeking out homosexuals (officially as both morale and security risks) that went back decades.

    As for the joking around you describe — I think that’s a “military” thing, or at least a “combat arms” thing, as I’ve seen the same behavior in all the services, to a MUCH greater extent than I’ve ever seen it in civilian life.

    So prevalent, that a group of hard charging grunts can skeeve out a group of openly gay Goths. {snicker. . . that was fun. . .}


    Sgt. Spooky reply on July 9th, 2009 1:54 pm:

    ok. I stand corrected. I guess what I meant was that the policy it replaced was originated in a now-bygone era. “dont ask, dont tell” may have made things a little easier, at least they arnt witch-hunting gays, anymore. My point is that its an archaic practice, that has no place in a (supposedly) civilized culture, especially one that promotes freedom (even if its only lip-service) of choice in all things.


    Minty reply on July 9th, 2009 1:54 pm:

    It’s not just a military thing. I’ve seen straight male civilians acting like this before. I just chalked it up to being a male thing.

    What’s really odd is on the very rare occasion where I’ve mentioned seeing men do this to other women, said other women act like I’m talking about aliens. So, what I’m curious about is what makes me so special that men feel comfortable “acting gay” around me and not other women.

    Not that I have a problem with it. I laugh, which encourages them, and then I laugh some more. We all win.


    Rick R. reply on July 10th, 2009 7:38 am:


    I don’t know your experiences, but what Sgt Spooky and I are talking about is somethng that can occur nearly continuously with some groups.

    The typical behavior I’ve seen a group of all-civilian males do is short spurts of “play gay” horseplay and jackassery. A couple of minutes at any time at best.

    Whereas I’ve seen a group of troops keep “the joke” running for days on end. The better ones can keep it going for WEEKS, without let up. If you’re REALLY good, you can do it all with the glances, subtle body postures, etc., of subtle “flirtation” to the point where people who don’t quite realize what is “wrong” start to wonder, “What the Hell is WITH these guys?!?”

    I think one big difference is, when you are acclimated to group life by having had to put up with open bay barracks (even though current quarters for soldiers are more dorm-like than in the past, open bays are still used in Basic and as quarters for visiting units — living in open bays, even for only a few days at a time is like continuously being in a locker room — communal showers, latrines, everyone getting dressed at the same time and in a hurry), you’re somewhat desenstized to certain levels of personal boundries. Now keep in mind that there are guys in your unit called “meat gazers” who have the official duty of straing at your dick while you pee into a bottle.

    “Personal space” between buddies becomes less of an issue.

    Plus you’re often bored out of your ever-loving mind and always looking to establish competitive dominence through shocking other people with your abnormal behavior. (Skippy’s List isn’t so highly prized by servicemen and vets because his stuff is so unusual. . . it’s prized becuase it almost all happened to or around him — it’s a perfect complilation of “war stories” that all of us can relate to. Which is why so many people have been convinced over the years that they actually know Skippy — because he reminds ALL OF US of “that guy” in our unit. There’s not a single one of his stories that I cannot close my eyes and imagine either myself, one of my buddies, or one of my troops having done.) You’re often stuck with these same faces for endless periods, with little or no outside distractions. So, macho posturing is often a form of amusement that requires no money.

    “Gay Play” is often just another form of macho posturing, beating your dicks on the table — the guy who flinches loses. And grunts can make jocks look like passively cooperative and non-confrontational sheep. (Some of you are still trying to wrap your head around the idea of “play gay” being “macho posturing”, aren’t you? {grin} It’s just more of the same — who can be the freakiest, most over the top, “Dude, you wouldn’t dare do THAT!”, jackassery that also drives drinking contests, stealing another unit’s colors, buffer races, and “Easter Desecrations”.)

    And that’s the last section of my theory. It’s part of the job — whereas not being at the top of your game can cause your team to lose the championship, screwing up with a grenade launcher, 60 ton tank, or multi-million dollar aircraft can get many people (including yourself) quite messily dead. Work hard, play hard — and sometimes the play IS part of thge work, showing youself and your buddies that you can take whatever comes your way without losing it.

    Minty reply on July 10th, 2009 9:25 am:

    “Whereas I’ve seen a group of troops keep “the joke” running for days on end. The better ones can keep it going for WEEKS, without let up…“Gay Play” is often just another form of macho posturing, beating your dicks on the table — the guy who flinches loses.”

    Yeah, that sounds about right for the civilian men I hang out with.

    As for my amusement “encouraging” them, I can only defer to the testimony of the scant handful of other women they do this in front of, who claim that the “gay play” is more extreme whenever I’m around. And no, I don’t think it’s because they’re trying to impress me with who has the bigger dick as the result of some kind of primitive mating instinct.

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