I've just cracked open Jeffrey McGowan's book Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Military. McGowan joined the army in the 1980s and served for 10 years before retiring as a major. Since we still have a week left of February's Politics of Love, I'm diving in. Has anyone read this book?
I vividly remember when this measure was enacted. Now in its fifteenth year, I'm really hoping this book will shed some firsthand light on the subject. Not to be a spoiler, but I just flipped to the end. McGowan says:
We are diminished as a nation when our institutions fail to live up to the ideals of democracy. And the military is diminished when it fails to allow all Americans who are qualified serve openly and proudly on behalf of their country. When the awesome and terrible decision to go to war is made, all Americans must take ownership of what follows, and all Americans — rich, poor, white, black, gay, and straight — must close ranks and do their duty.
Let us marry. Let us serve. For we, too, are Americans.
What do you think of this? Have you had experience with Don't Ask Don't Tell? Even if you haven't, how do you feel about it?