Seven retired military officers publicly acknowledged being gay on Friday, hoping their actions will stir Congress to repeal â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ and force Marine Corps general Peter Pace to apologize for calling gays â€œimmoralâ€ earlier this week.
The officers are all highly decorated and have earned numerous honors and commendations. They include Col. Stewart Bornhoft, USA; Capt. Joan E. Darrah, USN; Capt. Robert D. Dockendorff, USNR; Chaplain Col. Paul W. Dodd, USA; Capt. Sandra Geiselman, USNR; Col. E. A. Leonard, USA; and Capt. Robert Michael Rankin, USN.
“Our community has a long history of serving our country in the armed forces,” the group said in a release. “Today, there are more than 65,000 lesbian and gay troops on duty. Another 1 million gay and lesbian veterans, including the seven of us, have served in our fighting forces. General Pace’s remarks dishonor that service, as does the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law. General Pace must offer an immediate and unqualified apology for his remarks, and Congress must take action to repeal the ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans who want to serve our country.” (The Advocate)