Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Marines Are The First To Step Up

Master Sgt. Anthony Henry, center, and Staff Sgt. Chris Cano at the 
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa
Look at this: the very day the repeal of DADT went into effect, Master Sgt. Anthony Henry, a top Marine recruiting trainer for the southwestern United States, pulled up to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s largest LGBT community center and set up a recruitment stand specially for gay men and women to enlist in the military and serve openly, and, of course, proudly. 
He did joke that he left his Chevy where he could make a fast getaway: “I have an exit strategy. I know where my choke points are, I’ve strategically parked my car right on the curbside, I have an out.”
But there were no protests and no shouts. Instead, Sergeant Henry--who had been invited to set up his recruiting booth at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center--spent the day talking with several gay women who came in to ask about joining the Marines.
“It’s your business and you don’t have to share it,” Sergeant Henry told Ariel Pratt, who was still worried about a lesbian serving openly. “But you’re also free to be at the mall with your girlfriend.”
This is a huge step because the Marines were the service most opposed to ending DADT, and yet they were the only one of the five military invited branches of the military to turn up at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center with their recruiting table.
And, though the Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also consider themselves the best, so it was important for them to be the first in line to recruit gay men and women, and to prove they are better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Still, there wasn't a lot of traffic at Sergeant Henry's booth that day, but it's a first day of many more to come, when all Americans can serve proudly and openly if they choose.


full story at NY Times

2 comments:

Robyn said...

This is great news. It always should have been to recruit the best no matter who or what they are. Better late than never.

Kyle said...

Bob, great human interest story.