They lived shadow lives in the military, afraid that disclosure of their sexuality would ruin carefully plotted careers. Many were deeply humiliated by drawn-out investigations and unceremonious discharges.
Yet despite their bitter partings with the armed forces, many gay men and lesbians who were discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy say they want to rejoin the service, drawn by a life they miss or stable pay and benefits they could not find in civilian life.
By some estimates, hundreds of gay men and lesbians among the more than 13,000 who were discharged under the policy have contacted recruiters or advocacy groups saying they want to re-enlist after the policy is repealed on Sept. 20.
Bleu Copas is one. He had been in the Army for just three years when someone sent an anonymous e-mail to his commanders telling them he was gay. After he was discharged in 2006 under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the military’s ban on openly gay troops, “It took away all my value as a person,” he recalled.
Complete article at NY Times : http://nyti.ms/pSWcEF