NEWS | June 22, 2022

Guarding Pride: An Inside Perspective of Serving During the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

By Sgt. Jesse Elbouab, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers and Airmen in the Kentucky National Guard reflect the community we represent. That means all our community.
 
A part of being a military service member is subjecting ourselves to the risk of confronting "harm's way."

I, our community, state, and nation, need men and women who are reliable and willing to face this risk.
 
Despite someone's orientation, relationship preference, race, religion, or any other characteristic that makes them different, I respect all men and women who wear the uniform of our Country's military.
 
Statement from Maj. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton, Kentucky National Guard, Adjutant General.
 
Have you ever been grocery shopping and found yourself jolting your hand away when your significant other goes to hold your hand out of fear of being seen?
 
If you pass all the military standards to qualify as a Soldier but had to hide who you are, would you leave or continue to serve?
 
These are just a few operational norms service members in our LGBTQ+ community have experienced in the past and, at times, are still confronted by today.
 
Eleven years after the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy has been redacted, now married Kentucky National Guard Soldiers Staff Sgt. Claudia Rector and Jane Roth-Rothstein, KYNG prior service, discuss the many hardships they faced when they fell in love in Afghanistan in 2007.
 
Many of the habits they established early in their relationship still affect how they approach their lives today. The fear of unacceptance still lingers. This is their story.
 

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