Booted Soldier Speaks Out (Again)

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Darren Manzella is one brave soldier!

The Iraqi veteran made waves when he came out on 60 Minutes last year, a big no no considering the military’s ban on openly gay soldiers. Despite the hubbub, Manzella returned to active duty and, at the time, it seemed that the government had no plans of ousting him. Unfortunately that was not the case and Manzella received his walking papers last week.

While the military brass didn’t approve of Manzella’s man-loving, he says his peers didn’t seem to mind. On the contrary – they were “proud!”

After my appearance on 60 Minutes I received a lot of support from most of my colleagues. Some were surprised that I made such a public statement but told me that they were proud of me for standing up for people who could not speak out. To them, I was still SERGEANT Manzella though. I really didn’t notice a change in how I was treated or viewed.

Many of my peers and co-workers voiced to me that they felt it was unfair that I was being discharged. They felt, as many people in our military and society feel, that an able and competent soldier should be retained especially in this time when we are fighting two wars and need every capable man and woman who is willing to put on a uniform and serve their country.

The Republicans, of course, fail to see Manzella’s logic.