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03/17/2009

They've got a Point: Military grads come out, speak out

by Jeremy Hooper

west-pointWest Point students learn many things. Military procedures. Basic and advanced academic teachings. Physical skills. How to get stubborn coffee stains out of camo. The acquired knowledge is as varied as it is formative.

But on Monday, thirty-eight grads of the famed U.S. Military Academy put another skill to use: Their ability to open closet doors and let their gay flags fly. Navy Times has more:

Thirty-eight graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., came out of the closet Monday with an offer to help their alma mater educate future Army leaders on the need to accept and honor the sacrifices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops.

“Knights Out” wants to serve as a connection between gay troops and Army administrators, particularly at West Point, to provide an “open forum” for communication between gay West Point graduates and their fellow alumni and to serve in an advisory role for West Point leaders in the eventuality — which the group believes is both “imminent and inevitable” — that the law and policy collectively known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” are repealed by Congress.

West Point grads form gay support group [Navy Times]

Fantastic. It's bravery like this that will help future gay soldiers earn note because of their Silver Stars, not their Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Purple flags. And it's groups like this "Knights Out" one who will help to ensure that non-asking and non-telling within future ranks will only apply to things like secret battle plans, and not benign internal truths.

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Your thoughts

... and not the first, this also in article:
"n forming Knights Out, its 38 members are following the example of similar support and education groups formed by graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy, known respectively as USNA Out and Blue Alliance. Most if not all of these groups’ members also belong to the Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Alumni social network, a group that Knights Out claims includes some active-duty commanders serving in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Posted by: LOrionL | Mar 17, 2009 12:12:10 PM

Chance are... there has been as many gays in every class of West Point since its beginning! However... this class has more than balls... it has CLASS! I could understand why some professional gay athletes waited until after their playing days were over, before they came OUT of the closet.. but the acts of these guys(and girls) are courageous and more timely then ever...
Back in 1957, I was in the Army Reserves, and always feared I might be dishonorably discharged if it was discovered that I was queer( that's what we were called, back then).
I was in a Chicago gay bar(not in uniform) and someone tapped me on my shoulder and asked if I was in the 308th Reserve Unit... and I said yes... he said he knew, because he was my commanding officer! This was many years before Don't Ask- Don't Tell... but he asked and I told!

Posted by: jerry Pritikin | Mar 19, 2009 8:24:10 AM

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