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Exclusive: Recovering from breakdown, Lt. Dan Choi says he's 're-energized' by 63-33 Senate vote

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Lt. Dan Choi, perhaps the nation's best-known gay ex-Army soldier, says Saturday's cloture vote by the U.S. Senate "sent a jolt of good American energy."

"It is a good time and I’m re-energized for this," Choi said Saturday afternoon just after the Senate's 63-33 cloture vote, which cleared the way for repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'. "I am sorry for anyone who might have been upset by my particular methods, but we all came to this together."

"You have my exclusive thoughts," said Choi, who was discharged Thursday night from a Cambridge, Mass., hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown last week. "It's not done. No way. Everyone knew when this vote happens, that only begins the real process of 'don’t ask don’t tell' in the hearts of the soldiers who are closeted and waiting to come out.

Choi said Saturday's vote "does nothing to embrace equality, real equality, other than allow us to start the work.

"This with the stroke of a pen doesn’t make the world more fully American. It makes the books more fully American.

"I look forward to thanking Sen. [Harry] Reid for finally getting this done. I am grateful for the leadership of the Senate. I’ve been withholding praise for most of the Senate," Choi said. "Today there is a renewed hope for the Senate for keep doing work."

Choi said he has been "somewhat naïve about politics" during the fight to repeal. "I take that as a compliment. All I need to know is that I’m a second class citizen. ... Even laid up in bed, I don’t feel myself a victim in any way. We’ve all been battle buddies throughout all this."

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Bless your heart Dan.

Wow Steve, way to get your facts right. He serves in the Army, not the Marines.

Mike, you're correct. I messed that up in a quick rewrite and I've since fixed.

Steve

Congratulations to Dan Choi, Mara Boyd and others whose presence of being handcuffed at the White House fence while chanting "I am Somebody," have echoed throughout America, giving voice to the crucial need for repeal DADT. I believe they represent honorable leaders for the civil rights issue of our time. I believe that they have demonstrated tremendous integrity, courage and strength in all their activism efforts . May they soon know the inner peace that they so rightly deserve. I am so proud of them--thank you!

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