The Defense Department expects by midsummer to have completed enough “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal training that it can ask the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to certify the results and begin the congressionally mandated 60-day countdown to full repeal.
Just 200,000 troops, about 9 percent of the force, have gone through the training so far, according to Vice Adm. William Gortney, director of the Joint Staff. But the first progress reports coming in from service commanders over the past six weeks show “no issues or problems,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley.
“All is going well,” he told a House panel.
As to Morado's efforts in advance of the hearing to reach out to Get Equal, director Robin McGehee said, "He was unsure what the process was going to be like and, just like us, very perplexed that he was hearing all these celebratory reports about repeal and why his hearing was continuing.
"For him, he was baffled .... He thought for sure his hearing was going to be put on hold," she added. "He was fearful that they were trying to make this happen before implementation."
... Before learning the outcome of the hearing, however, McGehee discussed the "emotional and physical stress" that she said Morado was facing and added pointedly, "It really begins to make you question why we're wasting the money on a hearing like this and also why were allowing the military to bully him."
Smith went further, saying, "The fact that everyone knows that the Pentagon hasn't discharged anyone since Obama signed the repeal law, and yet we are seeing, on the unit level, discharge procedures still going forward -- it's creating an almost harder position for some people."
OutServe, the underground network of actively serving LGBT service members, and the Courage Campaign share with us a video from the parents of US Army Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay soldier killed in combat last month in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
Wilfahrt was forced to serve in the closet, as all service members still must. OutServe reports that in addition to Corporal Wilfahrt, at least three LGBT soldiers have died in combat since 'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s' conditional repeal was signed into law on December 22, 2010.
Says Corporal Wilfahrt’s mother Lori: "The stories we’ve heard from people in his unit indicate that he kept some people calm when things got rough. People in his unit knew he was gay…and they didn’t care."
Said Jonathan Hopkins, OutServe spokesperson and gay combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
"Corporal Wilfahrt epitomized the courage, dedication and selflessness that gay and straight troops alike have shown in battle since our nation’s founding. Ultimately Corporal Wilfahrt’s story is not about differences or politics, but the values that unite all who wear the proud uniform of our nation—loyalty to each other, love of country, and the willingness to give their lives in its defense."
To the Wilfahrts, thank you for your story, and condolences on your loss.
The repeal of 'DADT' has yet to be certified.
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