As I was driving home and listening to the news on the radio about the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, the military’s ban on homosexual military service people, I realized that this may mean that the military may regain some of its linguists.
I remember when Dan Choi was discharged from the military because someone outed him as gay. He spoke Arabic, a language in high demand by the nation’s military. I could care less about someone’s sexual persuasion and what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. I do care that my country has foreign language speakers working for its intelligence agencies and military.
According to a Huffington Post piece by Anthony Gregory:
A 2005 Government Accountability Office report found that 322 discharged service members had been trained in “an important foreign language,” including 54 who knew Arabic.
The military is desperately in need of Arabic speakers and they got rid of them just because they were gay or lesbian. What a shame!
I am glad the US government finally realized that banning gays from the armed services was a bad decision. We need all the language specialists we can get. Gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, it doesn’t matter.