To some, like Senator John McCain (R-AZ), this is one of the most dangerous men in the United States military. His very presence “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion”.
That danger, however, only exists if he is honest. If he lies, either by commission (saying he is heterosexual) or omission (hiding the truth from others who trust him with their lives), then he is perfectly acceptable as a member of the world’s most powerful military machine. If he is honest about himself, then morale is immediately destroyed, good order and discipline disappear, and his unit is no longer a cohesive whole. This, at least according to some, is why homosexuals must not be allowed to serve their country in the military.
Lt. Dan Choi is a perfect example of why that policy should be changed.

Speaking at the University of California Merced Friday, Lt. Choi gave an impassioned talk about his life in the Army, serving as an officer fluent in Arabic in Baghdad, and how his appearance on the Rachel Maddow show in 2009, where he announced publicly that he is gay, changed his life. Talking about his family, his faith, his service, and now his activism (although he doesn’t really like to think of himself as an activist), Lt. Choi is a powerful speaker.
At times softly, and at others with a powerful ring in his voice, the Iraq war veteran pulls you into his story of honor, service, and truth. In turns serious, then humorous, Lt. Choi paints a picture of a man led to the necessity of speaking the truth after years of silence and acquiescence.
Now facing discharge under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Lt. Choi is “speaking truth to power”, and criss-crosses the country, speaking to groups who include all the varieties of that eclectic bunch known as “Americans”.
Listening to Dan speak, I was struck by the power of his voice. I’d seen him on television a few times, and in You Tube videos. I remember his speech at the Marriage Equality March in Washington D.C. last year, and hoped to see him in person someday. At one point in his appearance, I remember thinking he had the skills of a great preacher. Later in his talk, he mentioned growing up the son of a Korean Southern Baptist minister (how’s that for unexpected!), and it clicked. While certainly not preachy or dogmatic, he had learned the skills of delivering his message in a powerful manner.
“Truth to Power”. Lt. Dan Choi is an excellent example of “Duty, Honor, Country”. If you have the chance to hear him speak, don’t miss it.