Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Repeal of DADT doesn't provide any retroactive help to those discharged
A story by Jeff Black for NBC News reports that the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” doesn’t compensate soldiers who were discharged because of the policy.
The story gives an example of Brian Henley, who was kicked out of the Air Force after being seen kissing another man. He needed legal help to even get an Honorable Discharge in 1994.
The story is titled “Kicked out of the Air Force for a kiss: despite repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, many feel the sting”, link here.
The former airman says he has $25000 of student loan debt he would not owe had he finished his service.
Societies always face difficulties facing the question of reparations for past wrongs due to policies or cultural values or even knowledge that was in effect when it happened.
Formerly discharged soldiers could be compensated only by acts of Congress, not considered likely in this political climate.
That would be like saying William and Mary should compensate me for my expulsion for being gay in 1961. I actually have discussed this with the ACLU in Atlanta. Pretty unlikely.