The following are the thoughts of a gay soldier - a North Carolina native
- who has been deployed to Iraq. Because of the military's "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" policy, he must remain anonymous.
As most of you read this story, I've left Charlotte for what eventually
will be a year and a half in Iraq.
I know a lot of you don't know what a soldier goes through during this
time. Most of us get notified about deployment sometimes days, but usually
a month or two before we leave. My notification was much shorter because
my specialization was selected to help a unit that was short on personnel.
Most soldiers get the opportunity to have their families be a part of
their deployment and the activities that are associated with their unit
leaving. I'm not sure I will be able to share other than a night with
my partner before I leave because we can't come home once we report in.
But that's not all I'll be missing. Married soldiers get medical and
financial benefits for their families.
We won't get that. I'm hoping in the future that the "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" policy goes away. I'm hoping there will be benefits
for people, like my partner, while their significant others are deployed.
Over the next 30 to 45 days I'm going to go through some pretty extensive
training to prepare for my role as a soldier in Iraq. I plan on writing
and keeping you all updated on what's going on - not from a left- or
right-wing slant, but with a factual account of what a gay soldier experiences
in this unique situation. Take care. God Bless. Signing out for now,
and missing you all.