Allen B. West

Gay soldier gets upgraded discharge; now seeking PTSD benefits for humiliation

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I’m quite sure liberal progressive socialists and radical gay Lefties are going to be angry with this post — oh well, get over it.

The Obama administration’s social equality transformation of the U.S. military continues and now sets a serious precedent for negative ramifications. Will every gay Soldier now lobby to have his/her discharges upgraded in order to claim benefits? Our nation can barely care adequately for veterans as it is.

According to Military.com, “Thirty-five years after being kicked out of the U.S. Army for being gay, an Oklahoma City woman has won her fight to have her discharge upgraded from “other than honorable” to “honorable.”

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“It’s crazy,” said Lisa Weiszmiller, 53, proudly displaying an honorable discharge certificate backdated to June 22, 1979. On paper, it’s just like the “other than honorable discharge” 35 years ago never happened.”

What is crazy is that this former Soldier volunteered to be in the U.S. Army fully aware of rules and regulations, and violated one that resulted in her discharge under “other than honorable” conditions. Now, years later because of an executive order repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” regulation, she is afforded an upgrade in her discharge?

Ms. Weiszmiller violated a regulation in existence at that time. The repeal today has no bearing upon her willing violation of that regulation. No one forced her into joining the U.S. Army, she did so voluntarily.

Military.com details how policies toward gay military service have changed dramatically in recent decades. In 1993, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy replaced a complete ban on gay military service. That policy later was repealed, and restrictions on gay military service were lifted in 2011.

Weiszmiller was able to get her discharge upgraded to honorable through an appeal to the Army Boards of Correction for Military Records. Data was not readily available concerning how many former service members discharged for being gay successfully have appealed and had their discharges upgraded.

Weiszmiller said her next step is to try to get the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department to pay for a post-traumatic stress disorder service disability. But get this — Weiszmiller believes she suffers from PTSD not as the result of combat, but because of the intentional humiliating treatment Army officials inflicted on her because she was gay.

“Back then, the treatment was barbaric,” Weiszmiller said. She and another female soldier were accused of being gay, interrogated for hours and assigned extra duties as punishment — including mowing fields of grass with a hand sickle.

I remember screwing up as a cadet in our officer boot camp in Ft. Lewis, Washington and having to clean the latrine with small scrub brushes. And some of us remember the ultimate “dummy cord” punishment for those prone to losing or misplacing their individual weapon.

However, what really gets me is that Ms. Weiszmiller is using the new radical gay agenda tactic of aligning her objectives with the struggle of blacks and civil rights.

Weiszmiller said she grew up in New Jersey and that her military police training at Fort McClellan, Ala., during 1978 and 1979 was a culture shock — not just in the treatment of gays, but blacks as well. “I learned what racism was down there,” she said, recalling a visit to a bar where the waiters refused to serve black friends. “I got a hell of an education down there in Alabama,” she said.

After her discharge, Weiszmiller went on with her life, working as an emergency medical technician for a while and as a nurse for 20 years. She said she believes her military experience left her traumatized in a way that contributed to her having reckless tendencies and addictions. Methamphetamine abuse got her into repeated scrapes with the law.

“I’m not asking for unreasonable things,” she said. “I’m just asking for the ability to get medical treatment (and disability benefits).”

For the record, as a commander in the Army I never discharged a Soldier for being gay. I discharged Soldiers for excessive check bouncing, not being able to pass the PT test, being overweight, use and abuse of drugs and alcohol and other violations of rules and regulations.

You could punish a Soldier for not having a proper haircut or being chronically late or missing formation — and yep, I had some tough first sergeants and command sergeants major who were quite creative with grass cutting or other “extra duty” tasks as part of disciplinary actions.

My concern is the precedent this will create. Now any former military members who have been discharged “other than honorable” will come back and appeal for upgrade of discharge years after — and claim back pay or benefits.

Here we are struggling to care for veterans who served honorably — but then again, in Obamaworld, everyone deserves a trophy for showing up (or not). After all according to Susan Rice, even a deserter served with honor and distinction.

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