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Cammermeyer’s take on DADT

Post by Scott Fontaine on Feb. 18, 2010 at 10:29 am with 4 Comments »
February 18, 2010 10:29 am

The military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces is facing a slow but almost-certain death. Amid that news, a columnist for The Herald in Everett caught up with Grethe Cammermeyer, a Whidbey Island resident who retired in 1997 as a colonel — and was the highest-ranking openly gay service member.

Here’s a bit of the backstory:

When she retired with full military benefits in 1997, Cammermeyer was an Army Reserve colonel and chief nurse with the Washington National Guard. Before President Bill Clinton implemented “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 1993, Cammermeyer was also arguably the best-known casualty of the military’s all-out ban on homosexuals.

In 1994, she told her story in the book “Serving in Silence.” And in 1995, Cammermeyer was the subject of a TV movie starring Glenn Close.

She was honorably discharged from the military in 1992 after revealing, during an interview for a top-level security clearance, that she was a lesbian. She was reinstated after a legal fight that resulted in a 1994 federal court ruling that the military ban was unconstitutional.

If you’re interested in the topic (and, no matter what side you fall on, most people seem to be interested), Cammermeyer makes some interesting observations.

The military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces is facing a slow but almost-certain death. Amid that news, a columnist for The Herald in Everett <a href=”http://www.enterprisenewspapers.com/article/20100205/NEWS01/702059871/0/ETPZoneLT”>caught up</a> with Grethe Cammermeyer, a Whidbey Island resident who retired in 1997 as a colonel — and was the highest-ranking openly gay service member.

Here’s a bit of the backstory:

<blockquote>When she retired with full military benefits in 1997, Cammermeyer was an Army Reserve colonel and chief nurse with the Washington National Guard. Before President Bill Clinton implemented “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 1993, Cammermeyer was also arguably the best-known casualty of the military’s all-out ban on homosexuals.

In 1994, she told her story in the book “Serving in Silence.” And in 1995, Cammermeyer was the subject of a TV movie starring Glenn Close.

She was honorably discharged from the military in 1992 after revealing, during an interview for a top-level security clearance, that she was a lesbian. She was reinstated after a legal fight that resulted in a 1994 federal court ruling that the military ban was unconstitutional.</blockquote>

If you’re interested in the topic (and, no matter what side you fall on, most people seem to be interested), <a href=”http://www.enterprisenewspapers.com/article/20100205/NEWS01/702059871/0/ETPZoneLT”>Cammermeyer makes some interesting observations.</a>

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  1. dankuykendall says:

    Although I have great respect for her, I believe that her original discharge should have been upheld. All of her security clearances were given under a cloud of falsehood. It goes to show how well the clearance process is done. This has nothing to do with her being gay, it had to do with honor. If male officers committ offenses under the regs, I believe that they, too, should be discharged.
    Unfortunately, most of her service was done under a lie. She accomplished her military duties in an excellent manner, however her personal life was not what was expected by the regulations. Male officers are discharged for their personal lives, when these lives are in conflict with the regs.
    It is about honor, but to serve honorably you have to be truthful.

  2. dankuykendall, your comments point out the fallacies inherent in DADT. It is fine for gay people to serve in the military as long as they lie. The policy creates a situation where people are forced to betray either their nature or their ethics. It shouldn’t be that choice. Gays have been serving well in the military since armies were created. I knew many gay people who served well and honorably when I was in the Army. Before DADT, they didn’t have to lie about who they were. I agree with your point that people should follow military regs. However, the regs themselves should be based on what is best for the military and for the USA and not create a situation where, to be treated equally, somneone has to lie. Equality under all of our laws should be the goal, as embodied in our Constitution. If the regs state that officers cannot date enlisted, then that should include gays. If they state that sexual ativity that is not mutually agreed to will be punished, that should go for everyone. If adultery is against the rules, then everyone should be treated the same. (Of course, that is an argument FOR gay marriage, and I bet you don’t like that one bit)

  3. dankuykendall says:

    I don’t have a problem with Gay marriage. I also knew many gays in the Army as I was a medic for 20 years. It was never an issue for me. Unfortunately, the regs that are currently in place and were during her career forbid being gay and sexually active. so you can’t pick and choose which ones you will obey. Sorry but no argument works about not obeying the regs.

  4. good night nurse I wish this woman would just go away forever free to live her life of sin.

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