Army Lt. Discharged Under DADT Writes to Obama: 'I Beg You Today: Do Not Fire Me'
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Last week, the U.S. Army discharged National Guard Lt. Daniel Choi — who served in Iraq and is fluent in Arabic — because he came out of the closet as a gay man. “Why didn’t I just shut up and not say anything?” Choi asked. Because “the Army values teach us, have courage, take personal courage, stand up, don’t lie, be honest about who you are,” he said. Choi said he would fight his dismissal “ tooth and nail” and now he has written Congress and President Obama “ begging” them not to fire him:
As an infantry officer, I am not accustomed to begging. But I beg you today: Do not fire me. Do not fire me because my soldiers are more than a unit or a fighting force – we are a family and we support each other. We should not learn that honesty and courage leads to punishment and insult. Their professionalism should not be rewarded with losing their leader. I understand if you must fire me, but please do not discredit and insult my soldiers for their professionalism.
When I was commissioned I was told that I serve at the pleasure of the President. I hope I have not displeased anyone by my honesty. I love my job. I want to deploy and continue to serve with the unit I respect and admire. I want to continue to serve our country because of everything it stands for.
Please do not wait to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Please do not fire me.
Army officer Sandy Tsao also wrote to Obama after she told her superiors she was gay and asked him to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Obama personally responded, writing, “I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete. … I intend to fulfill my commitment!” (HT: AmericaBlog)
Benjamin J. Armbruster is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.