Sunday, February 7, 2010

U.S. Navy Captain Talks to WRGW About DADT

This morning on WRGW News in Depth, retired U.S. Navy Captain Joan E. Darrah told WRGW that there is "absolutely no evidence that gays serving openly in the military is in any way disruptive to good order and discipline."  Darrah, who served in the Navy for 29 years, said that now is the time to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a policy that keeps gay people from openly serving in the military.
"All the evidence tells you that gays serving openly is fine. To have the best military we can, we should have the ability to recruit and retain the best and the brightest.  This is exactly when we need to have every person that's ready, willing, and able to serve."
Darrah attacked the law as hypocritical, saying that "we are defending democracy and freedom around the world and yet in our own military we are not treating gay people with respect that they deserve."

Darrah also cited statistics that claim that 65,000 people are currently hiding their sexuality in the military, and that 3,000 a year leave the military because of DADT.  26 countries currently allow homosexuals to serve openly: many of them serve alongside US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She compared repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell to President Truman's integration of the military, mentioning that 82% of the country thought the military should remain segregated, "but he had the courage to do the right thing."

Darrah, who had to hide her own sexuality while serving in the Navy, told WRGW that she "didn't realize how incredibly difficult it was until after I'd retired."  She also said that, while serving, she "learned how to work with people of different colors, different religions, different ethnic backgrounds.  You learn to focus on the mission."

"I am incredibly proud of our country," Darrah said.  "I just know we can do a lot better than DADT."

Darrah ended the interview by encouraging listeners to email their senators and representatives to urge them to support the repeal.

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