Ive heard stories of gay guys being persecuted in the military. But that hasn't stopped me from joining the marines. My dad was a soldier, and my grandfather served in WWII. I've always wanted to be a soldier, just like my dad. The only thing that is making it hard for me is the fact that I'm gay. I've been in the military since I was 18 and I am now Sergeant 1st class Jason Haskell. I'm now currently fighting the Taliban in afghanistan. Even now, I'm considered "the runt" of the battalion. I still have bosses of course. Like lieutenant Harper, captains Cragen and Porcello, and Colonel Potter. I'm not very outspoken about "don't ask don't tell" but I want it that way. I'm very concerned about what could happen to me because I'm not a physically big guy. I'm fairly tall and pretty lean but mostly very lanky. Lots of the other guys are 230-260 lbs of muscle. I couldn't stand up to those guys if I was outed. They would pummel me into the fucking desert. I'm a little nervous to come out for that reason. My boyish looks won't look very good if it's been destroyed by desert sand. I noticed captain Cragen walk in. I put my journal down and stood at attention.

"at ease son." he said with a wide grin. I sat back on my bunk and picked up my journal again.

"I need you to get your men ready, Sergeant Haskell. We are going to attack a local Taliban training camp in the town of Al-Bashkira. So be ready."

"yes sir." I announced in a projected voice. I watched as the large man walked out of my tent. I stood there for a minute, and breathed in sharply. Ahhh... There was nothing like the smell of the sand baking in the 120 degree sun. I walked around my tent, to look for a map. No luck. I headed towards the door. And walked out of my tent. The sun hit my forehead with intense power. The heat was bad today. I walked over to captain Porcello's tent and knocked on one of the tent poles holding it up.

"come in." he said in his raspy voice. 

"sir, would you happen to have a map of the place were going to take?"

"yeah." he handed me map and I thanked him. I turned back to the tent door and walked back to my tent. I couldn't wait to get out of this heat. I walked back into my tent and as soon as The refreshing shade hit me, it felt so good on my head. I sat back down onto my cot and placed the map down as I picked up my journal and started my entries:

"October 7th, 2006. My god is it a hot day. It's like 120 degrees outside. I mean It's so hot, you need a gallon of water just to make it to the mess tent. A few hours ago, I was in the mess tent getting lunch. I hate it when I hear the guys talk about how don't ask don't tell shouldn't be reversed. I mean, gay guys have every right to fight openly in the military. It hurts because I wanna stand up and say something, but I don't wanna be persecuted too. Yeah I'm an officer, but that won't stop higher ranked guys bashing me. What do I do?" I finished writing and put my journal down. I walked back to the mess tent to go get something to eat. I walked towards the serving tables and picked up a tray. 

"hey Haskell! Get me more food." I turned around and it was lieutenant broxton. Just an asshole from the 2nd battalion. He comes by to play cards at the officers table.

"no way, get your own."

"I ORDER you to get me some more food." he said standing up. I sighed a little and looked at the ground. I gathered more food for him and placed it on his table.

"I didn't want this!" he said and he picked it up and shoved the tray of food into my chest. Leaving a mess. He let go of the tray and it fell to the ground. God I hated this. Ive been in the military for 4 years and I still get shit!

"fine. I'll get you more." I said with hate in my voice. I gathered even more and brought it back to him. He didn't shove it into my gut this time.

"now get back to your tent." he said.

"but I'm hu-"

"Get back to your tent, SERGEANT."

I complied and walked back to my tent with food still on my green standard issue t shirt. I couldn't imagine how they will treat me if I come out...


Josh Volland

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