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Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
P. B. Shelley

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peace...the draft and don't ask don't tell and what happened today.

Today the Senate failed to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the US Military. It is a policy which keeps homosexuality quiet but doesn't ban it from service. I am really a Viet Nam War era person. I can remember the atmosphere of the draft and a growing unpopular war in South Viet Nam, a place no one had heard of. Patriotic boys in my high school classes were staunchly vowing to never be drafted into that war. Young men going off to college were growing more and more anxious about the draft. Being enrolled full time in college was a pass out of the draft for several years. Then school + marriage kept the name off the lottery. Then it was school + marriage + children. I know I was married with a child while my now ex-husband finished grad school. All we talked about amongst ourselves was the war. Our dear friend and daughter's godfather was drafted into the Navy and served on a riverboat, signing up for an extra hitch which somewhat surprised us. But before he went in it was a case of beer and a rum chaser every night at our apartment. Other friends served, flying helicopters, officers on aircraft carriers. My ex's brother was drafted as soon as he graduated from college and went right to Viet Nam in the Army. He returned with malaria and shrapnel all through his body and a purple heart.

My ex was just the opposite. As the teaching budgets were cut in 1970, so the escalation of the draft happened. He cultivated a fellow draft dodger as he finished grad school. The friend counseled him to either shoot his foot or make one ear deaf. Or there was homosexuality. That friend was dead from suicide within a year, and as college teaching positions dried ex-husband did what I thought was impossible...he chose homosexuality. He never was drafted even though we split up, divorced and the war raged on for 4 more years. He also blew most of his cultured mind out on drugs.

Keeping it quiet, is it so bad? It is illegal for heterosexuals to be having sex while serving on base as well. I don't know but we have come a long way since the days of the Viet Nam War. Soon maybe there will be no more wars! Peace.

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