Tales from the Trenches
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Published in: September-October 2009 issue.



Unfriendly FireUnfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America
by Nathaniel Frank
Thomas Dunne Books.  342 pages, $25.95


WHEN the U.S. military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy went into effect on March 1, 1994, it sounded like a way for the military to look the other way when it came to lesbians and gays in uniform, a sort of “we just won’t discuss it” edict. But the “don’t ask” clause whereby a superior couldn’t ask about a soldier’s sexual orientation came with a “don’t tell” clause that forced gay soldiers not to disclose their sexual orientation in any way. Since word often got out one way or another, many thousands of soldiers have been discharged over the past fifteen years.

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