I was only in for a few months. AMA

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EDIT: Thanks for the questions, you've helped make work today more tolerable. Works picking up now so answers will be few and far between.

Comments: 1934 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

ferminriii595 karma

Why did you come out?

iamadadt1122 karma

I told my battle buddy because he seemed like he was cool about that stuff, but he turned right around and told on me.

ferminriii1318 karma

Yeah, that's the "don't tell part". It's tricky. Sorry man.

iamadadt784 karma

Lesson learned

MasterMarksman528 karma

As a non-American, what's Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

iamadadt755 karma

A policy that has been recently removed, it enabled homosexual soldiers to serve in the armed forces as long as it didn't come to light you were homosexual. Now you're allowed to openly serve.

vampfredthefrog369 karma

Do you have trouble trusting people when you tell them you're homosexual now? Does anyone else know you're gay?

iamadadt689 karma

I don't generally tell people. You only know because I wanted to do an AMA but still choose to remain anonymous. My orientation doesn't define me. My family knows, the drill Sergeant made me call my mom and grandma who were listed as contacts and come out

rockandrowland461 karma

Your drill sergeant forced you to come out to your mother and grandmother? That makes me really mad for some reason.

iamadadt885 karma

Yeah they said since you came out to uncle sam you can come out to your family. They pulled my file, called them, and said 'your son has something to say' then handed me the phone, told me to tell them or I'd be locked up for lying about my orientation

rockandrowland132 karma

That is beyond upsetting. I am sorry you had to go through that. From what I can tell (based on what you've been writing) you seem well-adjusted and happy, and I hope that this situation didn't traumatize you or do any major emotional damage. That was a terrible thing for them to do for you. :[

iamadadt183 karma

Thanks, it was rough for awhile, felt too ashamed to go to family functions for nearly 5 years. I'm fine now though :)

cazzador305 karma

how did your fellow soldiers treat you upon your revelation?

iamadadt532 karma

Well, I wasn't bunked with the rest of them during training, I was sent off to RHU where I was told to sleep on a bunk far away from the other soldiers. Though I had not told these people, they suspected it and was called a faggot and stuff by a few of them.

gjbrown27268 karma

Was your discharge honorable or general?

iamadadt435 karma

General under Honorable Conditions

no_talent_ass_clown229 karma

Will your discharge ever "convert" to honorable? I'm sorry, but this is such a fucked up situation, I have to say.

iamadadt269 karma

I've put a lot of thought into it, whether I could apply for an honorable discharge. But, I don't know where to start

robble_bobble189 karma

This is very interesting and a good AMA so far. You've really opened my eyes to the idea that people were really discharged for this. I served in the Navy from 2002-2010 and I was on a submarine. I had several openly gay shipmates, to the point that the entire chain of command up to the CO knew and just turned a blind eye. All were open, but generally discreet, e.g. they would take SO to ship functions but as a 'friend' not as a partner or date.

I do have a couple of questions,

  • You mentioned that you got a General under Honorable Conditions discharge. Have you had any difficulty getting employment with this vice a honorable discharge?

  • Are/were you eligible for full VA benefits upon discharge, are you eligible now?

  • Did you spend any time in a combat zone?

  • How do you now feel about your service? Pride? Shame? Nothing?

  • Did your family know already, or did you have to tell them you were gay and being discharged for it?

Thanks, very interesting!

iamadadt166 karma

  1. I have not had any difficulty at all actually, I tend not to mention it at all, I'd prefer not to.
  2. I'm not sure on that, I haven't looked into it because I don't feel I deserve it.
  3. No I did not.
  4. I'm glad I went, but I wish things worked out. I wanted to serve.
  5. Family didn't know. As stated earlier, I was forced to come out to my family.
    Thanks for the questions

Nolite_Te_Bastardes145 karma

Have you forgiven the buddy who turned you in? Did you have a chance to ask him why he did it?

iamadadt245 karma

I didn't get a chance to ask him. I was almost immediately approached by a couple drills sgt's and whisked away 'for my safety'. As far as forgiven, honestly, I've not given it much thought. So I guess I have.

BrieBelle00124 karma

Navy vet here :-) Interested to hear your story! Thank you for having the courage to share it! I have a few Q's:

  1. How were you ”found out”?

  2. How much time was there between the date the brass was made aware and the date of your discharge?

  3. What was your MOS?

iamadadt94 karma

  1. Answered twice already :p
  2. It took about 2 months to be discharged
  3. 11b

roguemaster2055 karma

What did they have you do during those 2 months?

iamadadt89 karma

Mowing grass, painting, KP... a lot of hours doing nothing, reading, writing etc.

cshaxercs111 karma

What made you serve in the first place?

iamadadt190 karma

It wasn't long after we invaded Iraq, I wanted to do my part. I was also on the verge of being homeless so there's that too.

hooshtin116 karma

How are you doing nowadays since? Mentally, physically, etc-ally.

iamadadt271 karma

I'm doing great actually. I had a rough spell of depression after being kicked out, I was homeless living in a tent for about 6 months. I'd sneak into a campground at night, cover my tracks in the snow so rangers wouldn't suspect anything, then get up at sunrise and pack up and leave, wandering around until the sun went down, then I'd do it all over again. I eventually got my act together and couldn't be happier.

whaaatanasshole220 karma

Jesus. Homeless, in the winter, while depressed and you bounced back. I've got to rethink what a difficult time looks like.

iamadadt162 karma

If I can do it, almost anybody can. I fell on some really hard times.

wardogsq89 karma

Hi :) What made you decide to do an IAMA?

iamadadt229 karma

I'm sitting at my current job, bored out of my mind!

forceez50 karma

What is your current job?

iamadadt197 karma

I.T. aka sit on my butt and pretend to work

T1mac67 karma

Could you or would you ever re-enlist?

iamadadt113 karma

I think they said I could re-enlist after a 2 year period, I never did though. Bit old to re-enlist now though I have considered it

Vixenvamp67 karma

Thank you for your service. I am sorry for the way you were treated. As a granddaughter of a veteran I feel we should protect the people who are willing to defend us.

iamadadt110 karma

Very much appreciate the kind words but it's undeserved. I only served a few months and never had the opportunity to accomplish anything deserving of your comment

Cross8864 karma

What's your opinion on politicians like John McCain who say that having openly gay soldiers would undermine a unit's combat effectiveness?

iamadadt408 karma

I respect his service, but I think John McCain is full of shit.

ampap60 karma


iamadadt286 karma

  1. I think Bradley Manning was doing it more so for the fame, and I get the impression Edward Snowden is doing it to genuinely right a wrong. I can't say I totally support Manning but I'm completely (at this point thus far) behind Snowden. Behind, har har.

  2. I'm not a fan of Dick.

Sumiyoshi41 karma

Did anyone guess before you were found out? Did you know any other gay soldiers? What was the worst part about not being able to tell anyone?

iamadadt45 karma

Not as far as I know, no I don't think they guessed. I didn't personally know of any others. There really wasn't a worst part, I wasn't exactly dying to tell others, I just didn't want my family to know.

Dohabee37 karma

Why not just deny it? It is don't ask, so if they accuse you and you say "no I'm straight" would they drop it?

Also, that seems like a good way to get out without a dishonorable discharge, did you hear of people who couldn't hack it using that as a way to gt out?

iamadadt37 karma

I haven't heard of people doing that but somebody later did mention some movie related to getting out. I think he called it tiger stripes

Vmoney133735 karma

What's the craziest shit you've seen?

iamadadt70 karma

We were learning choke outs, drill sgt was showing us how to choke somebody out 'in three seconds'. He demonstrated it on somebody, not actually doing it but going through the motions. Afterwards, a private said he missed some of it and asked to see it again. Drill sgt took him up and actually did it, knocked the kid out. I don't think they're supposed to do that but it's infantry, and nobody was going to say anything to the contrary.

Love_2_Spooge33 karma

Do you feel like the Don't Ask Don't Tell act was a fair one?

(Straight guy asking, I feel that it's completely wrong)

iamadadt49 karma

I understand it. I'm glad it's gone. It was a compromise, whether it was fair or not, I'm on the fence. It was rather stupid of me though all things considered.

xhile31 karma

Hi I'm training over the course of the next few months then I'm going to enlist I'm curious did you go in out of shape how much pt did you have to do

iamadadt42 karma

I went in while in good shape. PT before consisted of running because my cardio was weak. Good luck with your enlistment

EricGMW31 karma

Sorry to hear that that happened to you.

Before you were "officially" discovered by people of authority, were people around you "unofficially" aware, and if so did they care, and did they support you in any way?

iamadadt44 karma

As stated, I told my battle buddy, he seemed cool with it but almost immediately told on me.

dodogutz28 karma

Any regrets?

iamadadt41 karma

Only that I initially said anything to my battle buddy to begin with.

xJesusHD28 karma

Do you regret telling your buddy you were gay? Or are you happy with how your life turned out?

iamadadt49 karma

I regret it, absolutely. But, on the other hand, I'm very happy with life currently.

Holy-Upvotes-Batman24 karma

Did you enlist knowing in full about "don't ask don't tell"? If so, did you take it seriously or just shrug it off?

iamadadt55 karma

I knew, of course. I took it seriously but I underestimated my so-called friend's ability to not be a snitch.

UCMCoyote17 karma

What is the process for being outed?

What I mean is, couldn't you have denied it? I Or if another soldier tattles on another that's that?

iamadadt32 karma

I probably could have. But it's a whole different story when you have two drill sgt's in your face yelling for the 'truth'

WishaNiggawood17 karma

How long ago was this?

iamadadt26 karma

early 2000's

spaught8 karma

Is your discharged changed to honorable now that DADT is repealed?

iamadadt11 karma

I don't think so, but maybe it's possible to get it changed to honorable. Still need to look into it.

bpoff5 karma

First, congrats on coming out! Anyone who enlisted under "don't ask, don't tell" is fully aware you can be discharged for coming out, we were brief about this A LOT. With that said:

1) did you know you were gay when you enlisted?

2) When you came out to your fellow soldier were you worried at all about getting kicked out of the service?

3) What rank was the guy you came out to? If he was an NCO/Officer, he had the burden of having to report any regulation violation...we don't make the rules...only enforce them.

iamadadt7 karma

  1. Yes
  2. Didn't really think about it, I thought he was a good friend I'd made
  3. E-2, same as me.

adomo3 karma

Were you aware of anyone else who was operation within the don't ask, don't tell policy. Have you been in contact with your army friends since?

iamadadt5 karma

No, and I have not.

tomatosurprise2 karma

What advice would you give to someone who's not come to terms with their orientation? How did you maintain hope and tenacity when the other shoe dropped and your whole life changed?

iamadadt2 karma

Be who you are, cliched as it may be.