Friday, July 27, 2007
HRC Magazine: Article on Iraq war veteran Eric Alva called "Do Ask Do Tell"
In the Spring 2007 issue of the Human Rights Campaign’s magazine “Equality”, Janice Hughes has an article, on p. 18 in print, “Do Ask, Do Tell: Gay Iraq War Veteram Speaks Out on the Military’s Anti-Gay Policy.” The story is about Eric Alva, the first United States Marine to be wounded in the Iraq war. On March 21, 2003 (well before Saddam Hussein fell in April) Alva, 33, was in a convoy in Basra when he stepped on a landmine, eventually resulting in amputation of his right leg. He received a purple heart and medical discharge from the Marine Corps. He was not outed while in the military. He had joined the Marines at 19 in 1990. Earlier, at age 22, he had served in Somalia. He reports constant fear when “don’t ask don’t tell” was implemented and homosexuals in the military was a topic of everyday conversation when President Clinton raised the issue.
The HRC link is here:
The YouTube link of his testimony in Congress -- that is, a press conference in 2005 introducing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act that would lift "don't ask don't tell" with respect to gays in the military, is here:
"Do Ask Do Tell" is, of course, the name of my website and two of my three books.
The magazine issue also notes the comments by Gen. Peter Pace, "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts."
Eric gives a lot of credit for the decision to testify in Congress to his partner Darrell.
The magazine also has an article on page 23 "Bad Education: Protecting Children from Anti-Gay Bullying." "Bad Education" is the name of a famous gay film from Pedro Almodovar.