Besides, the plain and simple fact is that there are, and have always been thousands of gay men and women serving in our armed forced right along anyway. I have known quite a few personally. The Gay Alumni Associations of West Point (the Out Knights) and Annapolis (USNA Out) number in the hundreds, and those are men and women who have served and continue to serve our country honorably and with distinction. They are graduates of the best military universities in the world, bar none. I can even point to some very good historical examples going all the way back to the very founding of our military.
Let me introduce you to Fredrick Wilhelm Augustin Ludof Gerhard von Steuben, more commonly known as Baron von Steuben. Benjamin Franklin introduced the good Baron as a former General in the service of the Prussian Crown via letter to George Washington while the army was camped at
Annapolis, December 23, 1783
My Dear Baron: Although I have taken frequent opportunities, both in public and private, of acknowledging your zeal, attention and abilities in performing the duties of your office, yet I wish to make use of this last moment of my public life to signify in the strongest terms my entire approbation of your conduct, and to express my sense of the obligations the public is under to you for your faithful and meritorious service.
I beg you will be convinced, my dear Sir, that I should rejoice if it could ever be in my power to serve you more essentially than by expressions of regard and affection. But in the meantime I am persuaded you will not be displeased with this farewell token of my sincere friendship and esteem for you.
This is the last letter I shall ever write while I continue in the service of my country. The hour of my resignation is fixed at twelve this day, after which I shall become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, where I shall be glad to embrace you, and testify the great esteem and consideration, with which I am, my dear Baron, your most obedient and affectionate servant.
The interesting part of this story, which is not generally advertised, is that Baron von Steuben was not a Baron, had only been a Captain in the Prussian Army and had been unemployed because he had been forced to resign for taking liberties with young men. All of which was brought to General Washington’s attention during the course of the Revolutionary War and which he very purposefully ignored, saying in effect that the quality of the Baron’s service on behalf of the American cause was what mattered.
Well, if that attitude was good enough for ‘ole George, it ought to be good enough for us… don’t you think?
Now, let’s put this debate to bed and move on to important things, like nuclear weapons in the hands of
Today's Fun Picture