This post is done with a good buddy of mine in mind...
His name is Louis & he is an Iraq War Veteran. Two tours of duty with a fourteen month 'stop loss' in between. He is a good guy that gave this monkey a whole new perspective on the Iraq War & war in general.
I lost a friend or two in the first war with Iraq. One in theater, a couple more after they came home, exposed.
Even with it being that close to me, I was still far removed from what was actually going on. I was too young to care the way I ought... Busy being eighteen.
Louis changed my thoughts about soldiers & war. He would tell a story that involved Iraq because that is where the story took place... Not to be a braggart, but because there was some relevance to whatever conversation we were having.
As an example, we were talking about mechanics as he & I are both avid gear heads. It was a discussion on carburetors and the problems they have... Louis told me about his governor getting stuck in his truck while he was in a convoy. He was bitching about not being able to keep up with the pack.
I asked... "Why didn't you hop out & give it a go with a screwdriver? Surely, you or someone had something you could just whack it with, if you had to."
Or so I thought.
Well, it turns out an IED had gone off & they were immersed in a night time firefight. His story wasn't about his bravado, or the AK-47 rounds bouncing off of his truck. It wasn't about the 50 caliber machine gun firing overhead into the roof tops of Iraqi homes... It wasn't about being the last guys in the line of the convoy watching the other convoy vehicles ahead getting further away & further away... That was just the background 'noise' of the story to him... His story was about the carb issue that he had to deal with on a long trip back to his base.
Louis has a good attitude, kind spirit & a great sense of humor. He doesn't care if there are millions of gays in the military. A non issue to him & most others that have been shot at. He never considered if the guy on top of his ride, firing the 50 caliber machine gun, was gay or not... He considered whether the guy was alive or not. That guy was protecting him & his comrades... and thousands of men & women alike doing the same thing.
He was more worried about the flames at the end of a barrel than flames in their ranks. *rim shot*Ah, thank you... I am here all week...
Don't ask, don't tell is silly. Once the bullets fly, explosives detonate & your life is on the line... You need a comrade at arms. It isn't gonna matter who they like to kiss when they keep you out of harm's way.
Some may be thinking, "What do gays in the military & carburetors have to do with each other?"
the answer is: Absolutely nothing... except perspective.
And as it turns out, when Louis finally reached base, he whacked his carb with a screw driver & all was well.
So, with a heart felt salute... this is for Sergeant Louis & all of the other soldiers with boots on the ground. Something we will call "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Fun" at the expense of a superior. Enjoy.