This is from a commenter at Ta-Nehisi Coates' Atlantic Monthly blog in response to John McCain's rancid act at the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal hearings:
CEJP 45 minutes ago
As a currently serving member of the military and as a pilot myself, I would like to say that John McCain was a bad officer and a bad pilot. The Rolling Stone article was spot on...any one of us would have had our wings pulled for even one of the aircraft crashes he was responsible for, but his dad was an admiral. We're just lucky he didn't fly any crewed aircraft and kill anyone or get anyone but himself shot down. Being a military officer, being a pilot, and even being a POW does not automatically make you a great person or a hero...there is too much deference given to people in the military...I serve with people I would never call a hero...we have the same proportion of chuckleheads as the rest of the country. John McCain is proud of being at the bottom of his class at the USNA...this is not what we want our military officers to emulate. Just because he had his freedom taken away for 5 years does not mean he has the right to take away my fellow soldiers' rights. This is not John McCain's military. We are better. Yes, Hanoi, was tough but it doesn't necessarily make you an automatic hero or build character that didn't exist before. There is a great quote in the NYTimes from a book by Zarah Ghahramani (who was imprisoned in Iran's infamous Evin prison). It said:
"Suffering, she concludes, does not enoble. 'It's O.K. if you already have character and wisdom and courage, but if you don't, suffering won't build such things in your heart and soul,' she writes. 'It will consume what little courage you have, and then you are left with nothing."
The thing that makes me want to throw something at my TV everytime he chuckles and sneers and claims the morale high ground at these hearings is that he was one of the biggest philanderers and adulterers there was when he was in the military. His first wife suffered almost as much as he did, recovering from a horrendous accident and loyally waited for him to return...only to be cheated on in a very public manner. Adultery is a crime in the military because it GREATLY effects unit cohesion. Trust me, I see it all the time and it is highly disruptive...mostly it's the sanctimonious "family values" Christians. these are the same people who are SO against gays because it is a sin...what about you, bud? Let me serve with an entire unit of honest, open gay people rather than some of the John McCains I currently serve with who proudly cheat on their wives and think it makes them tough.
Admiral Mullen should be the true hero. I have never been prouder of a military leader. You don't see a lot of military leaders stand up for their people and what's right...unfortunately most of them are in the game of self preservation and trying to keep the "good ole days". Half those service chiefs would argue against women in the military even today. They're old, have lived in a very protective bubble, and are out of touch with their troops. Courage is knowing when you're wrong and not being afraid to change your mind. John McCain has not changed at all. We're just seeing his true colors. Soon enough, I hope, my gay comrades and the rest of us in the military will prove him wrong...just like women proved Jim Webb wrong.
Meanwhile, we will all, gay and straight, continue to fight for everyone, including John McCain, because he's an American and that's all that matters to us.
Please write/call your Senators and urge them to pass repeal of DADT. My fellow soldiers cannot yell, they cannot march on Washington, they can't even exercise the rights they fight and die for you to have. They rely on you to be their voice. Please fight for them, cause they fight for you...no matter who you are.