I opened up the OP/EX section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune this morning hoping to find some fodder for a post. I didn't have to go too far into the 'Drawn & Quartered' area, where various political cartoonists are featured, to find the catalyst for today's rant. Take a look at this cartoon by David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Just to make sure everyone is aware of what is being said in the cartoon, the first soldier says "Hmmm...Turns out that guy was gay." The second soldier responds "Dang! We missed the chance to drum him out of the service!" They are looking over the coffin of someone who just made the ultimate sacrifice for his country; a fallen comrade.
More sick stereotyping of Red Staters and the majority of our armed forces from a Seattle-based political hack.
I served for 12 years in the National Guard in Army Aviation. I went to all of the sensitivity training sessions, and took to heart 'Don't ask, don't tell.' I always just assumed that some of those I was serving with were gay, largely because of the fact that the military draws from the general population, and you are likely to get a representative cross-section of that population in subsets like the military. I can honestly say that the sentiments expressed by the fictional, cartoon soldiers David Horsey depicts are purely the way he imagines the military to be; a bigoted, homophobic lot of insensitive Cretins with no allegiance to anyone who 'doesn't fit in.'
I am sure a good number of those killed in action in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in wars past, have been homosexual. As far as I know, all the military ever asked of them was a commitment to duty, honor, and country. When they come home in a flag-draped casket, that commitment has been more than fulfilled, and I would defy anyone to find one person in the military who would look upon that casket before it is brought home and say anything similar to what Horsey alludes to here. Because that person would be the one drummed out of the service. In the military that I remember, a soldier heard saying such a thing, at such a solemn time might just have to watch his back for the rest of his tour of duty.
Of course, people like Horsey can't understand that you can disagree with someone's lifestyle choice, but still recognize honor, loyalty and sacrifice so beautifully demonstrated.