to the Editor
QUESTIONS RECRUITING OF FELONS
P. Donovan HMC USN Ret.President,
American Veterans For Equal Rights
Within the last year
or so the U.S. Military has begun to recruit convicted
felons to fill the quotas of active duty
servicemembers. Our military has always claimed to
enlist only the best the country has to offer in her
defense. One need only to remember some of these great
contributors both to the military and to society at
large: John Paul Jones, father of the Navy; Lt. Tom
Dooley M.C, hero of Laos; Walter Reed, USA, one of the
developers of the treatment of Yellow Fever; Admiral
Grace Hopkins, inventor of the COBAL language for
computers. And the list goes on. Add to this the many
unsung heroes that most of us know. The Soldier who
puts himself between a grenade and his men. The
hospital corpsman who risks his life caring for his
wounded Marine. The helicopter pilot who flies into
danger to evacuate her troops.
servicemembers of the highest caliber who daily
demonstrate their dedication to our country and
respect for her laws.
Now, it seems, all
this is not necessary. Our countryís Armed Forces
are actively recruiting convicted felons with which to
fill its ranks. Quotas apparently can not be met by
continuing to hold to the traditional high standards
of military members our country has always enjoyed.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have now relaxed standards
of qualification to include such people who, until
recently, wouldnít get past the recruiterís desk.
There is no lack of
qualified people who are clamoring to join the
Military but are forbidden by law, viz., Donít Ask,
Donít Tell: Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people. Yes,
your military who has wasted millions of dollars in
training and processing is bound to fire thousands of
highly trained, valued members of the Armed Forces
simply because of an unfair, bigoted law which should
never have been passed. Yet, the JCS permits convicted
felons to serve over GLB members. What kind of
statement does this make? Donít Ask, Donít Tell
must be repealed for the good of our military and for
the good of our country. Gay, lesbian and bisexual
persons must be permitted to serve openly so the U.S.
Armed Forces need not rely on less than the best.
James P. Donovan HMC
American Veterans For
Equal Rights, Inc.
2008 Gay Military Signal