Tuesday, July 14, 2009
News Talk Online July 14, 2009: Gay Soldier Challenging Don't Ask Don't Tell
First Lt. Dan Choi, an infantry platoon leader and officer in the National Guard and a West Point graduate who is a linguist expert in Arabic who is being drummed out of the armed services for being openly gay will be my guest today on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com
Throughout his tour of duty in Iraq, Choi, while leading patrols or meeting with local Iraqi government officials and Army leaders acted as his own interpreter. He built friendships and added to the counterinsurgency push. Soon he was leading reconstruction efforts in the “Triangle of Death” to rehabilitate a county’s water and sewage infrastructure. He still has contact with many Iraqi leaders and friends.
“I wanted to return to Iraq immediately when we returned home but also found love and for the first time started a romantic relationship," Choi said.
"I could not lie about my identity anymore. I left active duty.”
Since coming out on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, the military announced it had begun proceedings to discharge him. Choi described the notification letter from the military as a "slap in the face."
Choi will be my guest at 5 PM New York time today on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com