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Were you a Marine?

I was for twenty-two years. As a company First Sergeant I saw it all. The good, the bad, the ugly and yes, the gay.

As a drill instructor at Parris Island I trained recruits and know that one of the worst insults you could heap upon somoeone who was not up to speed was to call him a fairy (or worse). None of them liked that, because none of them wanted to be thought of that way. That's because most Marines want to think of themselves as John Wayne, not Perez Hilton.

The parochial website you listed may bemoan the evils of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to achieve its political goals, but I, sir, know Marines. I can assure you that they are not going to respond well to this at all. Small unit discipline and combat efficieny will suffer in the short term, because comraderie will not be extended to those who don't fit the societal mold. I've seen it too many times to fool myself into thinking it won't happen.

Now, the existing policy will be repealed, the gays will be allowed to be openly gay, and in the long term the Marine Corps will adapt and survive. But for now please don't blame the young Lance Corporal who, when asked out on a date, responds with a horizontal butt-stroke that involves his rifle.

(Lest any of you think that I'm being politically incorrect, a horizontal butt-stroke is one of three close combat moves with the rifle: Vertical butt-stroke, horizontal butt-stroke, and the smash. There are two movements with the bayonet, the slash and the jab.)

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