It won’t be enough to get Capt. Owen Honors his top job back, but can one gay ex-sailor save the USS Enterprise’s now-former commander by coming to his defense?
Former Petty Officer Eric Prenger, who came out after leaving the Navy, says he was “absolutely not” offended by the videos. Even if Honors threw around the word “fag” and used two women showering together as a punchline. “Myself, nor the other gay crew members that I knew of at the time, were ever offended by those videos,” says Prenger. “My time on that board I never got the feeling he was against gays at all.”
Now he’s trying to organize other gay crew members to come to Honors defense. Which is a, um, honorable thing? “Honestly your initial reaction was a little bit a shock to see a commander, a person of such high rank, doing the things he was doing.” Well, yeah. But “for people to that [he's a homophobe or a gay basher] that didn’t even know him or weren’t even there to serve under him, it’s pretty frustrating.”
Prenger has nothing but praise for his former boss: “He was a great man to serve under, and this is an unfortunate circumstance, and if I can do my part to help him in any way, I would be more than happy to do so.”
An example of an ex-servicemember putting the military before his sexuality? Perhaps. But I’m certainly not going to sit here in judgment of a veteran-cum-civilian who still thinks highly of the man who kept he and thousands of sailors safe while at sea. Prenger is entitled to defend Honors. But for anyone else who has a serious problem with a top Navy official throwing around biased slurs to get a laugh, well, you’re certainly entitled too.