President Barack Obama included the contributions of gay troops in his State of the Union address delivered Tuesday evening.
An overarching theme in Obama’s speech, titled An America Built to Last, was lessons that could be gleaned from the military’s spirit of inclusion and teamwork.
“Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought – and several thousand gave their lives.”
“We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world.”
“These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.”
Near the end of his speech, Obama returned to the military, saying, “When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight.”
“When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one nation, leaving no one behind.”
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the largest group lobbying for the rights of gay troops, said his group was “pleased to hear President Obama acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of our service members, including gay and lesbian Americans who wear our nation’s uniform.”
“The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ would not have been possible without his vision and determination,” Sarvis added.
by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine