July 22, 2010

Lt. Dan Choi: My Statement on DADT Discharge

Posted: 05:46 PM ET

Editor's Note: Lt. Dan Choi received notification this morning of his honorable discharge from the army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Here shares his statement with us.

This morning I received notification of my honorable discharge from the army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." After 11 years since beginning my journey at West Point and after 17 months of serving openly as an infantry officer this is both an infuriating and painful announcement.

But my service continues. To all those veterans who have endured similar trials and injustices or prematurely ended their military service because of the unjust policy: our fight has only begun.

The true honor and dignity of service does not come from a piece of paper, a pension or paycheck, a rank or status; only an unflinching commitment to improve the lives of others can determine the nature of one's service. From the first moment we put on our nation's uniform and swore our solemn oath, we committed ourselves to fight for freedom and justice; to defend our constitution and put the needs of others before our own. This is not an oath that I intend to abandon. Doing so at such a time, or remaining silent when our family and community members are fired or punished for who they truly are would be an unequivocal moral dereliction that tarnishes the honor of the uniform and insults the meaning of America.

Lt. Dan Choi

Filed under: Larry King Live

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Roseann   July 22nd, 2010 9:41 pm ET

If I had not been watching your entire program from the beginning, but rather, had clicked the remote when the discussion turned to Marxism, then I might have thought that part of your program tonight was about that.

If Mrs. Sherrod's speech was not listened to by all persons–from the very beginning, (like the people who were present the day she spoke) how would any of us know the meaning she was trying to convey?

Unfortunately, there are troublemakers everywhere and one came into Mrs. Sherrod's life. One thing is for sure, I am certain Rosa Parks didn't know that sitting near the front of the bus would change history; Mrs. Sherrod now joins the ranks in history as well.

I wish Mrs. Sherrod all the best and may God grant her strength!

Floridian   July 22nd, 2010 10:02 pm ET

Lt. Dan Choi – you got a raw deal on an unjust policy – and how can they call this an "honorable" discharge if you got discharged for being openly out there? Makes no sense to me. But I do believe you got a raw deal. My heart goes out to you and I thank you for your years of service to this country!


uh, Roseanne – you responded about Mrs. Sherrod but on the article about Lt. Dan Choi – are you lost? *laughs*

LacrosseMom(the real one)   July 22nd, 2010 10:16 pm ET

Lt. Dan Choi, its sad that the U.S. military "wants" you only if you ...... lie.

And we call ourselves a "Christian" nation! Ha!

Kathie   July 22nd, 2010 11:52 pm ET

Lt Choi was a valued member of our military and was screwed by the military. God made all of us–straight, gay and asexual. Sexual orientation should have nothing to do with the ability to serve in the military.

Genie Kaiser   July 23rd, 2010 2:03 am ET

I agree that polls based on race are inadequate and should be considered outdated. As a white person (who voted for Obama) and now disapproves with many of Obama's (and the Democrats') weak and facesaving policies and legislation, please be advised that I am NOT a tea party member, instead a progressive liberal (yikes!). So because I disagree am I considered a racist because I happen to be white? I suggest that for people in my position that it is racist to protect a president from criticism because he is black. I criticized both Bushes, but am I racist for criticizing Obama because he is considered in some circles to be"Bush light" ? Your show on 07/22/10 unfortunately demonstrated that for CNN and many Americans critical thinking is obviously not a valued concept and sensationalist black/white reporting trumps all.

As for the combination of race and class issues in this society, this is old news. Jim Crow laws were developed in part to debilitate populist movements in the South that included both poor blacks and poor whites. Martin Luther King threatened the class construct with his war on poverty which quite likely precipitated his assasination. Shirley Sherrod addressed this issue by recognizing the disparity between the haves and the have nots in this society regardless of race.

When you and Anderson Cooper actually get around to "keeping them honest" then maybe my views will be represented on your Ted Turner station and the real issues of corporate supported presidents,black or white, will be addressed. I challenge you to publish these comments, but have no faith in you doing so, it takes real courage to speak the truth and be honest.

Heather   July 23rd, 2010 3:31 am ET

the ring on his finger.... is that a Freemason ring?? just saying... looks like one

Heather   July 23rd, 2010 3:34 am ET

I am so tired of not hearing the truth from the media..... journalism is dead in America.

Ted   July 23rd, 2010 11:35 am ET

I have nothing against homosexuals and they should have the right to live a life that suits their wishes, as long that style doesn´t bother the majority of the people.

However, when it come to a service, like the military, there is another set of rules.
We have separate showers for men and women, where would Lt. Choi like to clean himself?
I certainly would not like to share a shower with him or sleep in a foxhole back to back.
He cannot be responsible for what he is, however he must accept the limits set by his different sexual orientation.

Christa   July 23rd, 2010 1:39 pm ET

@ Ted- what? I'm pretty sure men and women who serve in the armed forces are stuck in close quarters at one point or another....and I'm pretty sure you would deal with that.

so what you said is straight up prejudice because you think a gay man finds every man attractive. Don't flatter yourself.

Lucy   July 23rd, 2010 5:01 pm ET

Shame on our country. Can't we learn from our mistakes? We're ashamed today of our discrimination against blacks and women. We will be ashamed some day of our discrimination against gays.

Dan Choi is a great and honorable guy. And, an Arab linguist to boot!

I hope Larry and Rachel Maddow keep following up with Dan Choi. I want to know he's OK and what he's up to.

(And, Ted - get over it! Homosexuals have been and are now living in close quarters with straights. )

Ted   July 24th, 2010 8:26 am ET

@ Christa and Lucy

I have over 40 years experience with our military and have seen many problems caused by people like Dan Choi.
We had homosexuals dressing up like women and walking around the military installation in the evenings looking for action.
Lesbian service members taking over a club and driving away others.
I could continue with this.

Generally homosexuals are talented people and have a place in our society where they can offer their knowledge.
However I stick with my opinion, our military is not a place where they should serve our country.
Besides, our military has other arab linguist beside Dan Choi, so he will not be missed! It is just a shame he was not detected before he entered West Point, a waste of taxpayers money!!

mzrose58   July 25th, 2010 8:48 am ET

Don't Ask Don't Tell. Do away with it. immediately. The Party of Sane not Shame. Democrat #1

mike   July 26th, 2010 9:04 pm ET

On Saturday, at the Netroots Nation conference in Las Vegas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was forced to address Dan Choi’s discharge after he was handed Choi’s West Point ring and discharge papers by Joan McCarter on stage. is not a masonic ring, it is his West Point ring.

Concerned Sailor   August 1st, 2010 12:32 pm ET

Dan Choi seems to be a man of honor and wisdom. As a member of the military, you do not make it eleven years as an officer without having outstanding moral character and the drive to make a difference. I'm sure if you ask his superiors and his subordinates about his sexual orientation, it was not brought up in the workplace. Everyone wears the same uniform day in and day out, we all took the same oath to put country and service members before ourselves and our lives. If you think that a little issue such as homosexuality causes tension in barracks and close quarters, you are quite mistaken. That by far is one of the last problems on these honorable Sailor's/Soldier's/Marines' minds when they go to sleep at night. I'm so sorry that you feel that this DADT is something that should stay. It's sad to know that you are supporting kicking people out of our nation's military, people who are willing to give their lives, people who have given their lives for your freedom, just because they love someone.

meg   August 4th, 2010 6:09 pm ET

@ted i'm am CURRENTLY servin in the military and i'd like to point out...weither you know that they are gay or not...they are still showering with you, and they are still being roommates with straight people. having the knowledge or not doesnt make any bit of difference the fact that WE are here.
and i agree with the sailor, being a soldeier going threw bootcamp i remember so many quiters getting out of basic under the dadt even when they were straight. that aggitates me to know end. my fellow soldier members that know dont care or think anythin different about me im still a good linguist and a good soldier in the united states army.

meg   August 4th, 2010 6:28 pm ET

also @ted the very same argument can be made for the straight people who cause just as stupid problems for everyone else on base as ones perfect but just cuz ur gay doesnt mean ur stupid and apart of a group thats gonna cause problems. i recall fort hood being a place where service members created their own ganges on base their sexuality wasnt brought up..

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