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Former Naval Officer Jason Knight Details Debt: Military Getting Their Money's Worth Employing LGBT Service Members

Debtdadt

Regarding Dan Choi's announcement last week that he is refusing to pay a claim from  Defense Department Finance and Debt Services of $2,500 for the "unearned portion" of his Army contract, due to his discharge under 'DADT', Former Petty Officer 2nd Class and Hebrew linguist Jason Knight sends along this notice, with a note.

Knight writes us: JasonKnight1

The military has a long tradition of recouping money from service members who are discharged under the law known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell. If discharging GI Jane or Joe because they happen to be different, telling them they need to repay the government because of they are different is insult to injury, as well as reinforcing negative stereotypes. From tuition of ROTC students, military sign-on bonuses to unfulfilled contracts, the military is getting their money's worth for employing lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. 

In 2005 I was discharged from the military for the first time because I annulled my marriage after discovering my sexual orientation. Regardless of misplacing the DADT discharge paperwork, recalling me back to service and serving a year in Kuwait and continues communications with the Defense Finance  and Accounting Service to rectify the situation, I am still forced to repay my $13,000 sign-on bonus I received in 2001. After zeroing my account when I was discharged in 2005, I refused to pay this grievous loop-hole the government circumvents to continue to persecute LGBT veterans. So for the last six years, all of my tax returns have gone toward repay this "debt" including my 2010 tax return of $1959 that included a $1000 tax credit for being a full-time student. 

So Dan Choi, be prepared to receive a letter in the mail that your tax return has been recouped to pay the debt the government has so willingly given you for being a gay man.

Knight told the story of his discharge under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in SLDN's 'Stories from the Frontline' series.

I posted it back in May, and you can read it here.

Americablog has posted a petition to Defense Sec'y Gates to stop sending bill collectors after former service members discharged under 'DADT'.

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Comments

  1. Evil despicable government!

    Seems to me this is an important reason why the federal law suites against DADT should go forward. Successful outcome may help lead to and allow Mr. Knight, and others, to get their money back.

    Posted by: Fred | Feb 1, 2011 9:31:24 AM


  2. A typically disgusting action by our government against forced out gay ex-service members. Why don't the new DADT repeal regulations right this grievous wrong? This is un-American.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Feb 1, 2011 9:52:32 AM


  3. I'd love to hear another comment that says Dan is grandstanding because he put Obama on notice about this crap. DADT is "dead" but institutionalized discrimination of LGBT service members is alive and well.

    Posted by: Adrian | Feb 1, 2011 10:00:42 AM


  4. Is there any way that they can sue about this? This is outrageous. When homophobes out there say that we have equal rights, stories like this show that isn't true, at all.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 1, 2011 10:37:59 AM


  5. "After discovering my sexual orientation"?? more like coming to terms with and finally accepting who I was.

    Posted by: matty | Feb 1, 2011 12:15:05 PM


  6. The military has saved hundreds of millions over the years by having gay and lesbian troops serving on active duty. Some of the expense associated with married heterosexual troops are: full health care coverage for spouse, children and step-children; family housing (3 times the cost of single dormitory); family separation pay when deployed; subsidized child care; youth recreation facilities; overseas schools for dependent children; household moving cost for transfers; family travel; family subsistence payments (sort of like food stamps) and the list goes on.

    There are a lot of lost man-hours for absences when the soldier is away for family issues. Ask any single troop how many times he/she has worked overtime because the co-worker has the day off for pediatric appointments.

    When a married heterosexual dies the widow and surviving children remain an expense to the military/VA indefinitely. No such cost is involved for gay or lesbian troops.

    Posted by: Alan | Feb 1, 2011 12:51:59 PM


  7. My problem with this story and the Dan Choi letter for a while back is this: SHOCKER! The American Military is a predatory institution. I mean really? This is news? Maybe it's because I am from Seattle and have distrust of cops and army people hardwired into me but yeah, the Armed forces are a scam. Our soldiers are fodder and always have been.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Feb 1, 2011 12:56:45 PM


  8. Didn't emancipated slaves have to pay back room and board to their former masters? No? Well then this definitely sucks.

    Posted by: Sanho Tree | Feb 1, 2011 1:58:21 PM


  9. @Fenrox,

    There are very few countries that do not have its own troops. Liechtenstein is one of them, but military defense is provided by the Swiss army. They also have police to maintain order.

    Now please make a compelling argument as to why the U.S. shouldn't have armed forces.

    Posted by: Adrian | Feb 1, 2011 2:39:24 PM


  10. This is beyond disgusting and Dan Choi was right in sending this as high as possible (the President)... the military themselves will always just take whatever they can, until someone with a position of power stops them.

    These military men (and women) that were discharged under DADT should NOT have to repay a damn cent to the military that slighted them, if anything they should be COMPENSATED instead!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Feb 1, 2011 3:29:02 PM


  11. Maybe if you fuckers weren't so eager to praise Obama, you would have paid attention to the problems with the "repeal of DADT". Instead, Obama and HRC snapped their fingers, and you bitches jumped. One step forward, two steps back. You didn't make any progress. You simply reminded everyone, yet again, that when it comes to your own rights and your own dignity, you're willing to toss those out when it suits the Democratic Party. You've sold your souls for a wink from Obama.

    Posted by: Who cares | Feb 1, 2011 4:50:37 PM


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