American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill issued a call to action today, urging members of the nation's largest veterans service organization to contact their congressional delegations immediately and urge them not to repeal the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy in a time of war. Some members of Congress have indicated they want the controversial policy regarding open homosexuality in the U.S. Armed Forces repealed before a DoD study on the matter can be completed at the end of this year.
"Many in Congress are unwilling to wait for the study to be complete," Hill wrote in a memo to the organization's national and state leadership, and Legislative Council. "The American Legion, by national resolution, supports the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law and believes it has served the military well for the last 17 years. Moreover, we believe changing a major social policy in the middle of two wars would be a mistake and distraction. I have written to the President and Congress about our concerns. But they need to hear from you, today!
Call your representatives and senators toll-free at (877) 762-8762. There is no time to waste. Some in Congress are voting today."
Attached to Hill's call to action are letters from four Pentagon chiefs - Gen. James Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps; Gen. George Casey, Army Chief of Staff; Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations; and Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff - urging members of Congress to allow the review process to complete before acting on DADT.
Hill quoted Gen. Casey's letter to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the call to action. "I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward," Gen. Casey wrote.
Gen. Conway echoed that opinion. "The value of surveying the thoughts of Marines and their families is that it signals to my Marines that their opinions matter."
The American Leion passed a resolution in the May 2010 National Executive Committee meetings calling for the law to remain in place at least until the DoD review is completed.
Go to the Burn Pit to read MOTHAX's perspective.