Well that didn’t take very long : as soon as the Pentagon allowed military personnel to be openly gay, same-sex couples started clamoring for off-post housing benefits and admittance to the “Wives Club“, which will no doubt soon be named “The Spouses Club” to avoid confusions. I commented on one blog that in the near future taxpayers would provide military lesbian marital-partners with in-vitro fertility treatments, dual incomes, careers, and generous retirements, along with repeated admonishments about their “heroism”. Looks like the future is here.
Back when I was on Ft.Bragg, soldiers were crowded into WWII-era wooden barracks built as temporary quarters meant to last no more than 10 years, but utilized by the Army well into the 1970s. When “marialitos” arrived from Cuba in 1980, the government housed them in some of those ancient barracks, and they rioted over the poor conditions.
But we made the best we could of it, and as military traumas go, that was pretty minimal. What I do recall though was the torrents of abuse the guys living in the barracks received from NCOs, which the guys living off-post were not subjected to. They just showed up to work like a regular job. There was some mild resentment of married soldiers who were granted extra pay and housing benefits so they could live off-post with their wives, and did not have to get flogged over dirty latrines or the trash cans overflowing with chicken bones and wine bottles. Otherwise we were free to “decorate” as we pleased, with Black Gentleman painting their rooms basketball-orange and “Crackers” papering their walls with somewhat clinical Hustler Magazine center-folds (for you younger fellows, back in the day we didn’t have internet but relied on “skin magazines” for entertainment).
Single men could move off-post, usually with several other soldiers to share the rent. But even splitting the cost left little else from your paycheck. Lower ranking enlisted pay at the time was less than $500 a month, even with “jump pay”.
Now, many of the female soldiers were lesbians, a tradition which endures to this day. The women lived in separate barracks and received no special treatment over the men, generally. And of course there were a few gay blades, but not flamboyantly so.
But all that is changing, and fast, as these “heroes” look to the media and politicians to step in and direct our military commanders to provide the extra pay and benefits needed to live together in off-post matrimony. While gay marriage is becoming legal in many areas, it is not yet recognized by the Pentagon. That barrier is sure to fall soon as pundits and politicos demand “justice” and “equality” for the brave gay troops. The effect on the morale of the hetero-sexual soldiers is not to be considered in the New Normal Military, because they’re just going to have to get used to it.
So what’s to keep straight soldiers from joining the party? Suppose you have two strapping hetero-sexual G.I.s, let’s call them Murdoch and Kowalski, long known to be “butt-buddies” among their comrades (hey, we all had butt-buddies), who decide to “tie the knot” and get married, not because they are gay, but to get in on the generous marital housing allowance. With the extra cash and nice crib they could be real players with the ladies, so long as they keep up the front of a happy, gay married couple. Sounds like the plot to a funny-ass military sitcom.
The rest of the team would naturally join in: Rambo, Berry, Danforth, Ortega, Messner, Krackhauer, Colletta, Jorgenson. Openly serving as gay soldiers (heroes, really) while living closeted lives as “crypto-straights”.