Yesterday, Admiral Mike Mullen, the military’s top uniformed officer, publicly stated that gay men and women should be allowed to serve openly in uniform, arguing that it is “the right thing to do.” Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Admiral Mullen  said he is deeply troubled by a policy that forces people to “lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” The admiral made it clear that in his statement, he was “speaking for myself and myself only.”

Admiral Mullen may have said that he is speaking of himself, but his words echo the feelings of millions of Americans, including this veteran. It is long past time that the military’s outdated, unfair and discriminatory policy toward gays is laid to rest.

What does a person’s sexual orientation have to do with their ability to serve their country? Do you really believe that only a heterosexual can drive a truck, fly a helicopter, serve chow in a mess hall, or pull a trigger? If you are that narrow minded, how can you ever find a hat that fits your head?

The argument I have heard over and over is that having an openly gay person in a military unit can be divisive and cause unrest among the troops. That’s the same excuse that was once used to segregate black soldiers, and in later years, to relegate female soldiers to support roles. Once allowed to serve in all capacities in the military, both groups have proven themselves more than capable of handling anything thrown at them.

There were (and still are) soldiers who say that they will not share a foxhole with a black person, a woman, or a gay person. Instead of giving these bigots what they demand, shouldn’t the military deal with them more appropriately? Isn’t our military supposed to protect the fundamentals of this country? Isn’t one of those fundamentals the belief that all men are created equally? The slogan “No queers in foxholes” is just as offensive as it was to my father back in World War II, when some soldiers said “No niggers in foxholes.”

Let me tell you about a “queer” I shared a foxhole with many times. He was a sergeant, a good soldier, and never tried to hide the fact that he was gay. I have no idea how he was allowed to stay in the Army as long as he did, but I’m sure his excellent performance and his willingness to take on any job without complaint, had a lot to do with it. When he got a few beers in him, he used to laugh and say “I should have been born a WAC.” But there was nothing feminine about this man, and when the bullets were flying, there was nobody I wanted covering my back more than him. He was absolutely fearless, and I knew that he would die for me, just as I would have for him.

Senator John McCain said he was disappointed by Admiral Mullen’s position. In referring to the military’s policy of don’t ask, don’t tell, McCain said “Has this policy been ideal? No, it has not. But it has been effective.” Segregation and slavery were effective too, but that did not make them right.

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34 Comments on No Queers In Foxholes

  1. Phil Casteneda says:

    I agree 100% Bad Nick. I had gay guys and straight guys, born again Christians and and aethiests in my Army unit and they all did their job. I don’t care what anybody does on his own time as long as they do their job when they need to.

  2. Thanks for this post Nick.

    Coming from a guy I consider a genuine American hero (for your service to our country in Vietnam), your words are much appreciated.

  3. MichaelG says:

    It amazes me that gays even want to serve. Up to now, the military and administrations have made it pretty clear they are not wanted.

    What kind of person would you have to be to do dangerous work like that with and for people who hate you?

    Patriots, I guess.

  4. Ann Geraghty says:

    If the military heads feel ok with this then listen to them and bring our services up to higher standard. It is impossible for me to understand how we can let qualified service men and women be thrown out for something that has nothing to do with their qualifications and their desire to serve our country.

  5. Martin says:

    Well Bad Nick certainly got it right this time. !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Deb Peters says:

    Hi Nick,
    Well you know my view on the subject. Gays have always “Served in Silence” and served well. In fact, I had gay friends who were awarded “Soldier of the Month” and “Soldier of the Quarter” and runner-up for “Soldier of the Year”. We got a good chuckle about that.
    If this unfair policy is overturned then it will give gays and lesbians the same opportunities to serve, to feel the same pride, to earn the same pay and enjoy the same benefits, which are farther-reaching than just the obvious health care and GI bill benefits. AND now that jobs for young people are more scarce than ever, why shouldn’t gays and lesbians become cannon fodder just like their hetero counterparts?
    See, I find the addressing of the policy at this point in time a bit less than altruistic. I think someone just finally saw that the military was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to train soldiers, only to throw them out for being gay. Or, back in my day, they spent thousands of dollars to hunt us down and throw us out, the infamous “witch hunts.”
    The timing of this is also suspect…isn’t there a shortage of soldiers? 2 wars and unrest in many other parts of the world?
    I still hope they overturn the policy of course. But it’s not because the military suddenly got all warm and fuzzy about it.

  7. Michael Shadley says:

    Glad to see this post. I agree that what people do behind closed doors is nobodys business and should not ban them from serving their country.

  8. Lynn Comte says:

    Yes, I agree too!

  9. Jeff Boldt says:

    I’m with you Nick–after all it is 2010 isn’t it!

  10. Tom Marlatt says:

    I feel, like you Nick, that the gays should be treated just like the rest of us – gamblers, prostitutes, rednecks, believers, and athiests – like normal human beings. I’m very glad that everyone is not like me!

  11. Terry Phillips says:

    Thank you Nick very much. This is good to hear.

  12. Earl Warne says:

    Nick

    Amen Amen AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Earl

  13. Kevn in Austin says:

    Something I’ve never understood is how this would ever become a topic of discssion for a new, or existing Soldier (I use the term Soldier as all inclusive of all our brave military brethren). Why would anyone ever deem it important information to ask what a person’s sexual orientation is? I have never discussed myself with a reference to my orientation.

    To me this has always been a huge non-issue. I have way to many things to think about in life than waste any time considering a person’s orientation.

    I can’t wait until I never hear anything more on this. Who the heck cares? The people who do care are the ones that give me pause.

  14. Jim@HiTek says:

    You are correct.

  15. Denise Gray says:

    I think I saw Admiral Mullin also saying that the younger generation feel differently than the older generation about serving with gay individuals. Then immediately after, on the news, they showed John McCain, and another white haired senator saying that the policy should not be changed. The previous posts, and of course Bad Nick’s blog show that those of us who are of an older generation don’t agree with this stupid policy, and hope that it is overturned by those white hair senators!

  16. Elaine says:

    i agree 100% with you.

  17. Joe says:

    I have to disagree, what one does behind closed doors is their business but this is opening the door. There is right and wrong, and two guys/gals making out is just wrong. I don’t see that as part of God’s plan.

  18. Peg M. says:

    Until all of us are free to live and serve as we wish, are any of us truly free?

  19. Jerry says:

    I agree with Joe. This goes way beyond you acceptance to the gay lifestyle
    or how good they do their job in the military. There is much information in our “instruction book” (the bible) on what is right or wrong in this
    regard. Perhaps our country would be in a different condition today if
    we didn’t kill the unborn and be so “understanding” of the gays, etc.
    No, I’m not a bigot. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin.
    I am shocked that so may responded with total acceptance of this lifestyle. We are a long way down the “slippery slop”.

  20. H Krupps says:

    As I see it, who you sleep with has no bearing on how you will perform in combat. During my time in uniform, some of the biggest, baddest talking guys crapped their pants the first time we got shelled. But some of the wimpy guys stood their ground and fought back without flinching. I’d rather have a “queer’ like Nick’s friend covering me than some macho male who would let me down when I needed him.

  21. Traveling Twosome says:

    Bad Nick, I applaud you for always making us think. In the past I was opposed to gays in the military, but your comments about the same things being said about blacks and women made perfect sense to me and reversed my thinking. Thank you for always taking the right position, even if it is not always the comfortable or popular position.

  22. Roy Carpenter says:

    Jerry, please don’t assume that YOUR intruction book is MY instruction book. My grandfather was a minister who used the bible as a club to browbeat his family, excuse his racial bigotry, and give validity to his own sins. Don’t go there with me.

  23. KayCee 12 says:

    People used the Bible to justify slavery at one time. They used it to harass interracial couples. They used it to justify war. One man’s “instruction book” is another man’s weapon of mass destruction

  24. Susan Cameron says:

    Thanks for the post, Nick. I’ll also thank you on behalf of my gay uncle, who bravely served his country in World War II. And, Uncle Frank, thank you, too.

  25. Chuck Louer says:

    Great post Bad Nick. I served with gays, straights, blacks, whites, bible thumpers and agnostics. They were all good men and I never felt their personal beliefs, sex practices, or anything else made a difference in the way they handled themselves.

  26. Jan Mossman says:

    My brother served three years in the Army, he was wounded twice, and decorated for valor. Back in the states he was named Soldier of the Month at his post. But when he tried to reenlist, it came out that he is gay, and he was refused reenlistment because he was “unfit” for military service. What a waste of the time and money the Army spent training him, and what a loss to our country of the service of this excellent soldier.

  27. Jill Shillets says:

    When I saw the title of your blog on Facebook I was offended and logged on just to send you a comment about what a narrow-minded idiot you are. But then I read it, and I want to say thank you.

    As a lesbian veteran, I know I served my country well and I am proud of my service, even if my country is not proud of me. And to Bad Nick, I say Welcome Home, Brother!

  28. Linda says:

    Thank you Nick for being the type of person who is so willing to put his beliefs out here. We happen to agree with you on this subject,but respect those who do not.
    Funny but during Ron’s career (24 years) we met so many people who privately thought the anti Gay policy’s were wrong but would have never stood up for these changes in public policy because of the damage to their career.

  29. Lucky says:

    Great thoughts Nick, I agree with your point cause with my twenty years in Special Operations I have known a few gay individuals and they served well for their team mates and country. However, when any new change such as this would be implemented, there will always be some individuals that will suffer great stress and possibly risk of life as a Gay person serving openly within the military. Sadly, there are some narrow minded individuals who will make an example of the Gay individual within the military and I really hate to see even one person suffer such narrow minded behaviour. I am openly against inclusion of Gay persons in the military cause I don’t think you will be able to prevent aggressive behaviour toward the open Gay military individual. I could be wrong, but that would be my greatest fear that many would have to suffer. But, all new things experience the risk of these type events.

  30. jerrydean says:

    I agree with allowing Gays to serve. They are “Hired” to do a job which I do not believe involves sex. So what matters how they satisfy their Sexual desires. As far as shar9ing a Fox Hole I think if you are needful of one you wont concerned yourself who is already there. I cannot imagine Sex being a topic in a Foxhole. I believe it is a matter of Survival. Who made the Homos? If you believe in a God then God had to made him/her as well as he made you and me.

  31. ken says:

    I’m with the rest of you sick Os, with the shape of our economy
    today,we could cut down on our military spending by just “an army
    of one”.Lump everyone together male, female and other all together ,same heads,bunks,showers–everything what the hell they were “hired” to do a job nothing more.A couple of gals and
    some guys in the shower what a idea! Throw in a asshole buddy or two and you have a reel ball! How about a queer junior officer palling around with a bunch of young enlisted and keeping them in his quarters and leting them drive his fancy car.See anything wrong with that?I didn’t think you would. In stead of letting you know nothings and do gooders make the rules about Queers in the military How about this!!! Let those who have to live with it
    Make the rules ! I can tell you now THER WON’T BE ANY QUEERS IN THE MILITARY !!!!!!

  32. Kevn in Austin says:

    Lot of anxiety there, Ken. Are you certain we have not hit on something you are trying to repress? Is there a secret you need to share? Here, let me open that closet door for you.

  33. Roger says:

    Nick:
    Just a couple of additional notes:
    Those who think this will ruin the US military are ignoring a couple of fact:
    1. The Israeli army, possibly the best fighting force the world has seen in decades, has allowed openly gay troops for years.
    2. The British military allows openly gay troops, including officers. US troops have served under gay commanders in joint operations in Afghanistan and the world didn’t end!

    As far as ‘God’s instruction book’ is concerned, unless I’m mistaken it calls for the death penalty for eating shrimp or wearing mixed fabrics. I’ll believe that Jerry is following ‘God’s instructions’ when I find out that he’s in favor of ALL the rules, not just the ones that match his political convictions. . .

  34. Jim Burnett says:

    Right on Nick!!!
    I do have a question however, how did this end up on the “Bad Nick” blog?

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