This past weekend, something astonishing happened that made me see repeal of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy in a new light. I was out shopping with my boyfriend, and as he went to buy a smart looking button-down shirt he asked the store clerk about their military discount. The clerk responded with delight and said he couldn’t wait until DADT repeal to finally follow his dream of joining the Air Force. This was the first person I have encountered face-to-face who was deterred from enlisting all together because of DADT.
Rather than being stuck working at a dead-end job in a rough economy, young gay men and women will soon have new opportunities opened to them by going into the military. For the first time ever many of them will receive full health care coverage and have the chance to go to college. I honestly can’t wait to see the next batch of new recruits and all they have to offer.
- Officer X is a young, gay military officer who is currently serving on active duty despite the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on open service. He is a pilot and regularly flies throughout the world both in and out of combat. His views are his alone and do not reflect the opinions of the U.S. military, its branches, or any organization. Follow him on Twitter @TIMEOfficerX or email him TIMEOfficerX@gmail.com