The Latest from VoteVets.org: Time to Repeal DADT
Veterans Say Time is Now to Repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" In Wake of Pentagon Report
Washington - The largest progressive group of veterans, VoteVets.org, is calling on the Senate to immediately pass a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, given the findings of a new Pentagon study, that shows troops have no issue serving with openly gay or lesbian troops. VoteVets.org previously collected tens of thousands of petition signatures to Congress, calling for a repeal.
Ashwin Madia, Iraq War Veteran, and interim Chairman of VoteVets.org said:
"Today's report from the Pentagon states what we already knew - serving alongside openly gay or lesbian troops is just not an issue for today's service member. A repeal of the policy can be implemented and must be implemented. The question, now, is whether certain Senators who want to do the right thing will instead cave to party leadership that owes a political vote to anti-gay groups. We hope they don't, and stand up for what's right.
"This is an issue I've personally dealt with. In the Marines, one of my proudest moments was being one of the first to successfully defend a gay Marine from being discharged from the service. I've seen - first-hand - how keeping this policy in place hurts the military. Every allegation of being gay requires officers to spend ridiculous amounts of time investigating the claims, instead of defending America. Don't Ask, Don't Tell has robbed the military of thousands of able troops, especially those who have desperately needed skills, like translators.
"When you strip all the rhetoric away on this issue, it comes down to this: We need to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell to make our military stronger. Today's report simply underscores that point."
Interim Chairman of VoteVets.org, J. Ashwin Madia, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and moved to Quantico, Virginia for 6 months of basic training, after Law School. He served in Iraq from September 2005 to March 2006. Madia was lead attorney in over one hundred trials, including thirteen jury trials. He is most proud of his work successfully defending a gay Marine from administrative discharge in 2005, when it was clear that commanders were using disparate standards in their treatment of this Marine compared to other Marines. Madia was a long-time Republican, who supported Bob Dole for President in 1996, and Senator John McCain in 2000, before running as a Democrat for Congress in Minnesota in 2008. Madia previously was Vice Chairman of VoteVets.org, before assuming Interim Chairman duties in December 2010 for Jon Soltz, who took a leave of absence for a year, to serve in Iraq as part of "Operation New Dawn."
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