A reader writes:
I separated from the military in 2005. As a gay man, I could no longer deal with the duplicity that was required of me as an officer. I won a partial scholarship to attend law school, made good grades, and interned at the office of the general counsel at the headquarters of a major federal department in DC. Graduating from law school was one of the proudest moments of my life. Though I had been living as a poor student, I was finally able to live as an openly gay man for the first time in my life.
Almost a year later, I still don't have a real job and have had only one job interview. I recently moved back in with my amazingly understanding and loving parents who live in an extremely fundamentalist rural town where I've been substitute teaching. After months of fruitless job hunting, I'm now in the process of losing weight so I can go back into the military full time.
When I got out of the military, I told friends and family that you can't put a price on the peace of mind that comes with not having to hide such a huge part of who you are. Well, with an obscene amount of student debt that is pretty standard with law school graduates, I've learned that you actually can put a price on being out. Just ask Sallie Mae.
I'm hoping Obama makes good on getting rid of DADT soon, but I'm not holding my breath. At this point though, all I know is that Captain's pay is way better than what I'm making substitute teaching. My uniforms have been folded in the back of my closet for the past four years. Now the uniform comes out, and I go back in.