The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

For Chief Torres

I had the honor and privledge of serving with MAC(SW) Annette Torres while in Gitmo in 2005. She was, by far, one of the best Chiefs I had the opportunity to work with.  I had heard from some of my friends that she had died last year, but never found out exactly why. Earlier this year, I found the above picture.

My concern about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell-which passed over the weekend-was always more about how such a repeal process (I termed it “integration,” putting it on a parallel with racial integration in 1948) would take place. Like just about everyone else (or most everyone else), I read the report that DoD put together on the issue. Not once did I wonder-as many of my friends did, and still do-why participants weren’t asked whether or not they supported repeal. The military isn’t supposed to advocate for or against policy. They take the constraints they’re given, and work with them-most often exceeding our expectations.

But more than reading the survey, I read the recommendations on how integration should take place once a repeal passed. And the more I read and saw the level of thought and research put into forming those recommendations, the more the concept of repeal-which was almost always inevitable-became something I could live with.  Looking at how racial integration was accomplished, the process for fully repealing DADT looks a lot more better and thought out (at least one paper; reality may well prove different).

The military I know and served in has had far greater challenges than working with homosexuals. If you wore the uniform for any amount of time, in any service, there’s a pretty good chance you worked with some, unbeknownst to you. Just as I knew nothing about Chief Torres (and now knowing, my opinion of her hasn’t changed. Had I known, I would’ve cared less).

I get that some in my circles enthusiastically disagree with repealing DADT, and I get why. Their concerns are more than valid, and far be it for me to discount them. But it’s worth saying that  if there are/were others driven to the level of frustration that Chief was, and are/were considering taking the same actions, then maybe repealing DADT was a good thing. Not just for them, but for our services and those junior servicemembers who need a good counselor to steer them correctly-regardless of their sexuality. And for those who say it can’t be done, I’m a witness to otherwise.

I never got to write my piece on why DADT should go after reading the report, and my honest feeling was that it should and could without adversely affecting the force. I didn’t always believe that. Understanding how the repeal will progress, I’m okay with it. As I said on FB over the weekend, the world’s greatest fighting force remains so. Our military is greater than one gay man or woman, and will adapt and overcome. Would that we could follow their lead.

So, to my friend and a great mentor…hooyah. This isn’t enough to right whatever wrongs you experienced, but it may be enough to give you a peace you didn’t have here.




Written by Coby Dillard

December 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Editorials

Tagged with , ,

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