Three gay ex-servicemen spoke Wednesday at Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus in West Miami-Dade County. The visit – during FIU’s LGBTQA Pride Week – was part of the “Voices of Honor: A Generation Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” tour sponsored by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in partnership with Servicemembers United.
The national tour highlights the discriminatory law that hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk. The events will include a documentary screening and a public forum with lesbian, gay and straight veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, alongside average Americans fighting for repeal of DADT.
- Army human intelligence collector Alexander Nicholson, who six months after 9/11 was issued an involuntary honorable discharge pursuant to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, over the objection of his brigade commander, after he was “outed” by a fellow service member in his unit;
- Walker Burttschell, a Miami native and veteran of the U.S. Marine who was discharged under DADT;
- U.S. Army Specialist Jarrod Chlapowski, who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign.
The discussion included a screening of “Ask Not,” a PBS documentary on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Here are pictures from the event. All photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald staff.