Anti-gay harassment drove J.T. Chestnut to go AWOL from the army and when the police arrested him and sent him to face a military court, LGBT activist Kevin James started an online petition asking the army to free him. Well, Mr. Chestnut just spoke to LGBTPOV’s Tom Carpenter and he would rather you not sign that petition, thank you very much.
Here’s what Chestnut reportedly said:
“I really appreciate everything that my friends are doing for me, but they need to know I am safe, being well treated and am looking forward to being discharged by the end of the week and home in LA by the weekend.” He said that although the Army could Court Martial (military criminal trial) him for going AWOL at a time of war, that they rarely did so and usually used the administrative discharge process. He will be meeting with Judge Advocate General officers (military lawyers) Wednesday and they will likely be making him an offer of an Other Than Honorable discharge in lieu of an Administrative Board or General Courts Martial.
There is still a remote possibility that the Army could change its mind and not make this offer. He is concerned that any action, such as this petition, could draw attention to his case and cause the Army to use him as an example. He thanks everyone for making such an extraordinary effort on his behalf but asks everyone to just cool their jets for the time being.
So everybody leave Mr. Chestnut alone, alright? You’re only making things worse.