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Veteran’s Day 2012

10:15 am in Government by dakine01

Dub and Peggy Taylor circa 1943

I am a Veteran. I served in the United States Air Force from 10 December 1976 to 9 September 1982. After basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio TX (yes, I spent Christmas and New Years in basic,) I did technical school for my future career field at Shepherd AFB in Wichita Falls, TX. My Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) was 67251. In English that means I was an Accounting Specialist. I spent 15 months at Wurtsmith AFB, MI paying bills for the commissary. This means I was doing bookkeeping for the on base grocery store. Wurtsmith was a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base with a squadron of B52s and a squadron of KC-135s. My barracks was about 100 yards from the flight line and it got pretty noisy when a squadron of fully loaded B52s and a squadron of fully loaded KC-135s were queued up for take-off.

I went from Wurtsmith to Hickam AFB, HI after two short, cold, rainy summers and one long, cold, snowy winter. When I got to Hickam on 20 September 1978, I was assigned to the commissary accounting section once again. In Michigan, we had been a roughly $500K in revenues commissary while in Hawai’i, we had $2.5M a month in revenues. Yet, even though revenues were 5 times in Hawai’i what they had been in Michigan, the paperwork volume was probably less than a third increased since it was most all of the same vendors or types of groceries, just larger quantities. However, in Hawai’i there were four of us doing the work where in Michigan there had been two of us. When I got to Hawai’i and was told my work assignment, I was also told it was because the section was “behind.” When I saw what the definition of “behind” was, I laughed as in Michigan that level of “behind” would have been considered caught up to current day. It also pointed out the difference between the staffing at a “Major Command” base (Hickam was the home of the Headquarters Pacific Air Forces) and a northern tier SAC base. In SAC, the funds went to support the flying mission. As an example, my first calculator in Michigan was an older, hand cranked machine that I literally burned up within a month. And yes, I do mean burned up. I was running a column of figures and the machine did catch on fire. After this, I was given a new calculator. If I remember correctly, it was a Monroe Litton model 2410 and was the newest machine in the office. When I got to Hawai’i, everyone had Monroe Litton model 2420 which all had digital displays.

After 18 months in Hawai’i, I was moved over to the “Accounts Control” office where I was responsible for the accounting database, liaison with the data processing center, and worked with folks in every part of the accounting system from Base Supply to the Consolidated Base Personnel Office. I worked with the Headquarters command Accounting Office and Responsibility Cost Center Managers across the base. In order to be promoted within the USAF beyond the rank of E4 up to the rank of E7, we had to take tests on our knowledge in our career field. The first time I tested for E5, the test had two questions (out of 100) that were directly related to my work with another 10 being peripherally connected. The next time I tested a year later, 75 of the 100 questions were directly related to my work. When I got my results, I was number 3 USAF wide on the promotion list (though I did not get promoted until the end of the cycle since I had less time in grade as an E4 than others).
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No General, You Won’t Do Anything to Stigmatize LGBT Troops When DADT Is Repealed

7:30 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

So there I was on a Friday afternoon, doing my usual surfing for news stories, when I ran across this headline from the AP (via MSNBC):

Marine general: Gays would get their own rooms

No General, you won’t do this. You will not create any type of "separate but equal" facilities for future gays and lesbians serving in the Marine Corp. In the immortal words of another Marine Officer, Lt Col Oliver North, when given an order by your civilian superiors, you will "salute smartly and charge up that hill."

Or you will be starting your future career as a Beltway Bandit that much sooner than planned.

Gays and Lesbians are already serving in your Marine Corps, just as they are serving in the US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force. They have served throughout most of the history of the US, and your histrionics have not and will not stop their service. I served in the USAF from 10 December 1976 to 9 September 1982. I was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB, MI and Hickam AFB, HI. In both places, I served with both gays and lesbians. Unit discipline and cohesion were never affected by their service.

So you will not give them "separate rooms" nor will you force them to wear pink insignia or be placed in any situation that sets them apart from the rest of the unit. You should, in fact, be pleased that even with two on-going wars, people of all stripes and possibilities still want to serve. Are the Marines so up-to-date on recruiting and the overall needs of the service that you can afford to deny committed and caring individuals the right to serve their country?

And in order to avoid future concern trolling from others, lets take care of DOMA as well as DADT. That way, we can stop articles like this (also from the AP), asking in such a concerned manner, if "partners of gay troops" would receive benefits too.

Short answer: Yes, and so what? Why shouldn’t the partner of a Gay or Lesbian military member who dies in service of the country receive the appropriate benefits?

I just do not understand the thought processes of those who would deny the rights and benefits of citizenship, because of an act of nature.

And because I can: