In December, “60 Minutes” ran one of my favorite “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” stories, featuring Army Sgt. Darren Manzella, who’d been deployed twice during the war in Iraq. During his first deployment, Manzella, a medic with a field artillery unit in Baghdad, earned a combat medal for rendering treatment under fire. “I’ve treated everything from blast injuries to gunshot wounds,” he told Leslie Stahl.
As Cholene Espinoza, an Air Force Captain who flew combat missions, explained, “Darren is in a critical field. He’s a medic. His commander needs him. He’s a known quantity. He gets along with others. He does what he’s supposed to. He goes above and beyond. Why do I want to lose Darren?”
The Army didn’t want to lose Darren, which is precisely why he was told to go back to work.
That is, until this week, when he was discharged. Pam Spaulding has the story.
I'd just add one thing: John McCain recently said gay people in the military represent an “intolerable risk” to unit morale, cohesion, and discipline.
I’m curious. Which poses the great risk, Manzella being deployed and serving honorably, or Manzella not being deployed?