Bil Browning

Lt Dan Choi's discharge papers

Filed By Bil Browning | July 22, 2010 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Dan Choi, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military

Lt Dan Choi was officially discharged by the military in late June. Unfortunately, he wasn't told that the paperwork had finally gone through; he found out about it when Gay City New and Newsweek contacted him for comment. In a clear example of why the military can't find Osama bin Laden, they sent the paperwork to his estranged father's home.

Dan sent me this statement to run with his papers. You can click to embiggen or download your own copy here.

DanChoiDischargePapers.jpg

Dan's statement about being discharged after the jump...

My Statement on DADT Discharge

This morning I received notification of my honorable discharge from the army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." After 11 years since beginning my journey at West Point and after 17 months of serving openly as an infantry officer this is both an infuriating and painful announcement.

But my service continues. To all those veterans who have endured similar trials and injustices or prematurely ended their military service because of the unjust policy: our fight has only begun.

The true honor and dignity of service does not come from a piece of paper, a pension or paycheck, a rank or status; only an unflinching commitment to improve the lives of others can determine the nature of one's service. From the first moment we put on our nation's uniform and swore our solemn oath, we committed ourselves to fight for freedom and justice; to defend our constitution and put the needs of others before our own. This is not an oath that I intend to abandon. Doing so at such a time, or remaining silent when our family and community members are fired or punished for who they truly are would be an unequivocal moral dereliction that tarnishes the honor of the uniform and insults the meaning of America.

Lt. Dan Choi


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If the army really can't keep track of where to send something as important as separation papers, then we are all in real trouble...

Michelle B | July 22, 2010 7:43 PM

You'd think they would proofread those papers before they sent them to the wrong address, too, but hey, those military types are always doing wacky things. But then, we all know how the old joke about oxymorons and military intelligence goes.

It's absolutely terrible that Lt. Choi found out about his discharge the way he did. Someone is in desperate need of a smack upside the head for the way this was handled.

It wasn't a surprise. He's known for quite some time that he was being discharged from the National Guard. Where the letter went is an insignificant detail. He knew, we all knew.

I hope Dan finds something meaningful to do. It's clear he has a great deal of passion for LGBT Equality - I hope he can focus that energy into something that is thoughtful and effective.

And somebody please tell the Military about FaceBook and Twitter.

Dan Choi chose to out himself. His choice has brought attention to the archaic law, but he should have known the consequences. Let's not pitty him. Let's work to get the law changed so those who chose to stay in can do so without having risk in the face of DADT.

Has anyone considered what information the military had for his home of record? Maybe the military sent the letter to the address Dan last gave them? (So much for 'military intelligence' ....we all know that bloggers NEVER make a mistake in the facts!)

Andrew W - I continue to appreciate your comments. BTW - Facebook and Tweets aren't legally acceptable proof of delivery. Has to be registered mail or FedEx type service. The military does know of Facebook - great recruiting tool!

Dan - Stop using the "Lt" title - you are discharged now. If you choose to get back in after the law is changed, you can take it up again.

Your name is known well enough - go use it with positive impact on LGB issues!

Dan Choi quit the Army in 2008. I believe he enlisted in the NY National Guard in 2009 simply to protest DADT and try to become an activist. If the stories are true that Jonathan Lewis offered him $90,000 as an activist if he was discharged, then the whole thing was manufactured.

Choi should clear the record. We deserve the truth. I would like to believe his motives and I think it is important for the LGBT community to require authentic leaders. It is up to him to decide if he is going to be an authentic leader or another "paid" activist. The "paid" activist thing isn't working very well.