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United States. Congress. House. Committee on Veter.

Viewpoints on Veterans Affairs and related issues : hearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, May 4, 1994 online

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The remaining parts are forwarded to various military activities to record the separation and other
information pertaining to the close of the member's military service and records.

Page I of the form is a shortened page, not containing the blocks describing character of
discharge, .separation and re-enlistment eligibility codes, and narrative statements about the reason
for discharge. Page 2. the page a veteran is typically a.sked to produce as evidence of .service
when seeking civilian employment with veteran preference, or in seeking veterans benefits
through various government agencies, does contain the above-referenced information. Especially
in cases of di.scharge where homo.scxuality, even in the ab.sence of alleged disciplinary
infractions, is recorded as the reason for separation, the veteran is publicly, unnecessarily and
unrea.sonably branded in a pejorative manner.

We have made our position regarding the ban clear. It is logical to draw conclusions
from our positions that we regard homosexuality or bisexuality as immutable and therefore
"value-neutral" traits. There exists a body of scientific research that supports this statement, to
the extent that for decades all reputable scientific authorities have accepted this as a demonstrable
fact. We also acknowledge that this fact must still be addressed within existing realities in our
society, of misunderstanding, intentional misrepresentation and plain bigotry. Therefore, the
service member who.se acknowledged or alleged homosexuality or bisexuality is stated on DD
Form 214. faces a likely prospect of discriminatory response wherever it is necessary for that
veteran to present the form to others.

When one reviews the heretofore suppres.sed Department of Dcfen.se research on the
subject of homosexuality in the military', the entire body of research (prepared by an agency
typically hostile to gays) supports our claim that public reference to a service member" s purported
homosexuality on the DD Form 214 is made with the intent to foster discriminatory retaliation
after the close of the service member"s military career. The Defense Department has the means
to retain all the statistical information it could possibly need without recording such information
on the service member's copy of the DD Form 214. Although, as the above-cited reports and
other materials document, the overwhelming majority of discharges for alleged homosexuality
are under honorable conditions, this msistence on publicly and perpetually branding the veteran
with pejorative statements continues as a routine procedure. Since the military" s own research,
statements and representatives are on record as saying the ban should not be viewed as
suggesting any inherent unworthine.ss of the .service members who .suffer under it. we wonder
why personnel policies, procedural manuals and related forms have remained in effect,
perpetuating this 'scarlet letter' processing for separation.

Is it any wonder, then, that gay veterans have deep apprehensions which inhibit .seeking
the benefits they have earned, when .seeking such benefits has the effect of "outing" them within
their communities in ways which may cost them their personal comfort and .security, housing,
employment, credit, and other ordinary functions of life hetero.sexuals are given based on criteria
not including their sexual orientation. Less than a dozen states have prohibitions on discrimina-
tion in such areas as are mentioned above. When disclosure of sexual orientation is intentionally
or even inadvertently made by presentation of a DD Form 214 with such references, a full \(V/f
of the American veteran community, perhaps minus those who live in stales where anti-gay
discrimination is now pro.scribed. are at immediate and direct risk for deprivation of veterans
benefits. Since state laws do not apply in the federal venue, those who live in stales where anti-
discrimination statues are in effect may face a lesser but still very real and immediate probability
of the same problems in securing the benefits their service entitles them to. since di.scrimination
by care providers in the federal venue is not yet illegal.

For the above reasons, we urgently recommend modification of separation policies,
procedures and forms, specifically including the 1)1) Form 214. to alleviate this on-going
problem.

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180



Stalenieni of dav. Ix'shiiui & Bisexual Vclerans of America

May 4. 1W4

Orientation for Department of Veterans Affairs Employees and Volunteers. With direct
celerence to ihe problems slated above, we urge an immediate, compreiiensive and mandatory
pn)gram of orientation for all employees of the Department ot Veterans AlTairs. and volunteers
who work at DVA facilities who have direct or indirect responsibilities for providing service to
individual veterans. Such orientation should address issues of human sexuality and the care
giver's obligations to provide care and services in a value-neutral, non-discriminatory, non-
judgmental manner. Where the opportunity exists, individual or groups of veterans who are
identifiable as advocates on behalf of bisexual, gay and lesbian veterans should be directly
involved in creating and effecting such orientation programs.

Such an orientation will mitigate the problems mentioned above, but only in part until the
federal government changes its entire range of policies to prohibit anti-gay di.scrimination.
However, to wait until such a change takes place will continue to put many veterans at significant
risk for denial i)f benefits ba.sed on prejudice by the individual .service provider, or provision of
benefits inapprt)priale to the real needs of the veteran became the veteran is so apprehensive
about disclosing aspects of her/his personal history that may have a direct bearing on the need
for care.

Funding Sources for Veterans Health Care. In these days of critical funding shortages
government-wide, the excesses of waste documented in the 1992 GAO Report. "Defense Force
Management"" exacerbate our national fiscal problems without need or logical basis. Recent
analyses of statistics available through 1990 in the GAO report suggest that personnel
replacement co.sLs for each officer ($120,772 per individual in 1990) and enlisted person
($28,226) result in an average waste of some $25 million annually (conservatively calculated)
in federal funds. However, making strict u.se of GAO figures, the actual dollar amount for 1990
is a somewhat greater amount. $27,417,184. We point out that the GAO report includes no
statistics for so-called homosexual discharges for the Coast Guard, any Reserve component or
National Guard units. We further add that the report acknowledges the actual number of officer
separations for homosexuality to be under-reported since in many such instances, officers are
allowed to resign their commission "for the good of the service" without annotations reflecting
homosexuality as the basis for such action. These 'hidden' gay discharges are unavailable for
statistical study, skewing the overall figures further. We insist that the on-going waste of funds
for such reasons cease immediately, and that any such funds he made immediately available for
veterans ' health care and benefit programs.

It is critical to note that the GAO study developed statistics for recruiting replacement
pcr.sonnel only through basic training . This means that for each veteran of. for instance, six
years of military .service, professional skills development, leadership ability and training, figures
specified in the report provide for replacement of such an individual only with a raw recruit. The
report analysis (page 4) also acknowledges the necessity to factor in then-unavailable out-
processing and court-related costs. Con.sidering the above. GAO personnel acknowledged in 1992
that they concur with our conclusion the report may be off by so much as a factor of ten in its
cost estimates.

This ups the ante, using the conservative calculations referred to above, to $2.50 million -
a quarter billion dollars - thrown away each year, funds that could be put to u.se with the
prospect of significant return by such worthy programs as the Department of Veterans Affairs
Vocational Rehabilitation Program for veterans with .service-connected disability who face
employment difficulty upi)n return to the civilian work force.

Considering the fact that the most recent statistics cited in the GAO report are for 1990.
and factoring in the significant costs incurred for litigation related to the ban {with the certainty
of litigation continuing until the ban is lifted; please be assured that we will see this is the case)
the waste of federal, or better, taxpayer money, becomes ridiculous in proportion to any alleged
benefit to be had in spending the money as it is presently being spent.

Sexual Harassment and Racial Discrimination in the Military. GLKVA joins with tho.se who

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Siatemenl of Gav. Ixsbian & Bisexual Veterans of America

May 4, 1994

have increasing concerns about sexual harassment in the military. In light of the recent Tailhook
scandal in particular, we have no faith in Department of Defense statements that sexual
harassment is being adequately addressed by the Armed Services. We believe that the recent
statements of General Karl Mundy. Commandant of Marines, demonstrate, too. that prejudice
ba.sed on race, and discrimination ba.sed on such prejudice, remain an institutionally sanctioned
problem within certain areas of Department of Defense activity.

We urge the creation and full funding of an independent investigative unit with authority
to require the cooperation of military officials at all ranks, in addressing allegations of sexual
harassment and racial discrimination.

Further, we request that existing definitions af sexual harassment, and all policies and
training devolving from prohibition of sexual harassment in the military, be expanded to include
prohibition of harassment by service members of any individual or groups of individuals on the
basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Outreach to Veterans. As if the long-time existence of military discrimination against gay
military members weren't enough to foster a sense of alienation among gay veterans, the vicious
and intentional misrepresentations of our conduct, motives and character of service by public and
private individuals during the recent debate on the military ban exacerbated an already serious
sense of apprehension among vets who may be bi.sexual, lesbian or gay to come forward to claim
their rights as veterans. The American people have, as a nation, often remarked about how the
nation owes its veterans a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid. We believe the nation can and
should begin to repay a part of that debt by rectifying the serious problems of alienation existing
within the community of veterans represented by GLBVA. Discrimination based on sexual
orientation pervades the American society. The effects of that discrimination render the gay
veteran who may be disabled, unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged particularly vulnerable.

Statistics have demonstrated that a shocking proportion of the homeless in America are
military veterans. Other studies have also demonstrated that HIV infection and AIDS are
problems of immense proportions for homeless Americans. These facts suggest that advocacy
and community-based action programs on behalf of such individuals or groups are insufficient
so far, to alleviate the problems. Looking at these two facts concurrently, this suggests that there
is a high probability of overlap, and that it is likely that HIV and AIDS are matters of particular
concern for the homeless veteran, since s/he constitutes such a large fraction of a population
already known to face diis problem to an unusually large degree.

We urge the Congress to facilitate, and provide funding opportunities for, further
expansion and/or creation of veterans outreach and advocacy programs, focusing on groups of
veterans at particular disadvantage including lesbian, bisexual and gay veterans.

Summary of Recommendations for Action

In summary, we respectfully recommend to the Congress that the following steps will best
provide for the needs of active, reserve and veteran members of the United States Armed Forces:

1. Lift the ban on military service by lesbian, bisexual and gay American citizens
immediately,

2. Reform the Uniform Code of Military Justice to provide ironclad guarantees of full due
process, and representation by legal counsel not subject to inappropriate influence for all
service members, in the absence of combat or other national peril.

3. Rewrite or remove the "General .\rticle" (Article 134) to prevent its misuse as an
undefined 'catch-all' Article under which the service member can be subjected to vindictive
command action.



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Staiemcnt o! Ciav. Ix'shian & Bisexual Vclcrans of America

May 4. 1W4

4. Initiate and fully fund a study to develop statistical information relating to the
application of the UCMJ 'sodomy' article, to determine actual raw numbers of its
application in disciplinary proceedings, and a ratio between its application in instances of
alleged heterosexual misconduct and instances where homosexual conduct is alleged.

5. Direct the Department of Defense to provide annual statistics for the years 1991-1993
regarding homosexual discharges, broken down by character of discharge.

6. Rewrite Article 125 of the UCMJ to remove any reference or applicability to private,
consensual adult activities, and also to proscribe and provide punishment for acts of
sodomy, with specific language mandating equal applicability in heterosexual or homosexual
situations, when committed through violent or other coercive actions.

7. Review and upgrade ail discharges on the basis of prosecution citing Article 125 of the
UCMJ, where violence or coercion was not demonstrated. Remove all service record
references to disciplinary actions taken on the basis of Article 125, absent violent or
coercive behavior.

8. Immediately direct the modification of military separation policies, procedures and
related forms to remove reference to homosexuality on, at a minimum, the separating
service member's copies of DD Form 214, providing full funding for full accomplishment
at the earliest possible opportunity.

9. Direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to immediate create and implement an
orientation program, with full funding provided, regarding human sexuality and the
responsibilities of care providers to function in a value-neutral, non- judgmental manner,
requiring participation by all DVA staff and volunteers with responsibilities for providing
veterans care; require the participation of lesbian, gay and bisexual veteran advocates in
program development and implementation.

10. Prohibit any further use of federal funds for investigative, disciplinary or separation
action in any instance where the sole basis for such action is the service member's sexual
orientation except where it pertains to documented, adjudicated conduct involving violent
or coercive behavior.

11. Transfer funding equal to those amounts now being spent on investigation, disciplinary
and/or separation action on the basis of sexual orientation from the Department of Defense
to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

12. Create and fully fund an independent investigative unit with authority to require the
cooperation of military officials at all ranks, in addressing allegations of sexual harassment
and racial discrimination.

13. Expand existing definitions of sexual harassment, and all policies and training devolving
from prohibition of sexual harassment in the military, to include prohibition of harassment
by service members of any individual or groups of individuals on the basis of actual or
perceived sexual orientation.

14. Facilitate and provide funding opportunities for further expansion and/or creation of
veterans outreach and advocacy programs, focusing on groups of veterans at particular
disadvantage including lesbian, bisexual and gay veterans.

ENDNOTES

1. United Slates House of Representatives. One Hundred Second (\ingress Conununitv-Based Veteran Service
Orpani/.ations Hearing: Before llie Subcommittee on Oversiglii and Investigations of the Committee on Veterans'
Affairs. House of Represeiilaiives. One Hundred Second Congress. Second Session. May t\. I'W2. Serial No.
102-38 Washington. DC. U S I'lOvernment Printine Olfice. \')'>2

Page 8



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Slatemcnl of Ciav. Lcshian & Bisexual Vclcrans of America

May 4, \W4

2. United Stales House of Representatives. One Hundred Third Congress Health Care, hconomjc ( )ppi.'nunities and

Social Services for Veterans and their Dependents - A Community Perspective Hearing Before the
Subcommittee on Oversight and liivestipations of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. House of Representatives.
One Hundred Third Congress, l-irsl Session. May 5. 1993. Serial No. KB-IO . Washington, DC: U.S
Government Printing OtTice. 199.^.

3. In the interests of brevity and inclusivcncss, ihroughoul this text any reference to persons within the single categories
of lesbian, gay or bisexual is intended to refer to all such categories inclusively, unless specifically noted otherwise.

4. PresidenUal Kxecutive Order 9981, July 26, 1948.

5. Depanmenl of the Navy. Report of the Board Appointed to Prepare and Submit Recommendations to the Secretary

of the Navy for the Revision of Policies. Procedures and Directives Dealing with Homosexuals ( the so-called
"Crittenden Report"). Washington. DC: Department of the Navy, 1957.

McDaniel, Michael A. Preservice Adjustment of Homosexual and Heterosexual Military Accessions: Implications for
Security Clearance Suitability (Pr.RS-TR-89-004). Monterey, CA: Defense Personnel Security Research and
Hducation Center, 1989.

Sarbin, Theodore R., PhD and Kenneth E. Karols, M.D.. Ph.D. Nonconforming Sexual Orientations (PKRS-TR-89-002).
Monterey, CA: Defense Personnel Security Research and bducation Center, 1988.

The above are cited with inclusion of all relevant memoranda, and including the 1993 RAND Report commissioned by
the Department of Defense (bibliographic citation information unavailable)

6. United States General Accounting Office. Defense I-orce Management: DOD's Policy on Homosexuality United

States General Accounting Office (CiAO/NSIAD-92-98). Wa.shinglon. DC: United States Ctencral Accounting
Office, 1992.

United States CJeneral Accounting Office. Defense Force Management: Statistics related to DOD"s Policy on
Homosexuality United States General Accounting Office (GA()/NSIAD-92-98S). Washington, DC: United
States General Accounting Office, 1992.



Page 9



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NOTES: (cont'd)

3. GO'S NJP . Commanding Officer's Non-judicial Punishment was held on
Friday, 3 June- 1977 and awarded the following punishment:

Viol. UCHJ, Art. 86 - UA for 18 hours.
AWARDED: Reduced to pay grade E-3.

Viol. UCMJ, Art. 92 - Violating a lawful written regulation by not
completing the required A-hours assigned him.
AWARDED: Reduced to pay grade E-3.

Viol. UCMJ, Art. 92 - Violation of a lawful written regulation by going

through an Emergency Fire Door.
^JвАЮ^ol. UCMJ, Art. 134- Bringing discredit to the armed forces by urinating

through the springs of a bed.
AWARDED: Forfeiture of $50 pay per month for 2 months.

4. SPEED LIMITS . In accordance with NTCORLINST 5560. IC, all vehicle
operators must comply with posted speed limits while operating on board

/-,^-NTC, McCoy Annex and Hospital Area.

NTC (Including Hospital) : 10 MPH in Parking Lots

25 MPH unless otherwise posted
5 MPH passing Marching Troops

McCoy Annex: 15 MPH in Parking Lots

30 MPH unless otherwise posted

Pedestrians always have the right of way and all traffic must yield to
them at crosswalks .Violations are recorded and accumulated points will
result in loss of base driving privileges.

5. SAVINGS BOND FACTS : TAX ADVANTAGES - Interest on Savings Bonds is
(^/exempt from all state or local income or personal property taxes.
Interest from Savings Bonds is subject to Federal Income taxes, but
interest need not be reported for tax purposes until Bonds are cashed.
Additional tax advantages are available for children's education and
for retirement.



cje ~



^r; /y



J. E. BROOKS
CW02, USN
ADMIN OFFICER



EXHIBIT A



i



185



CONCERNS AND OPINIONS OF VIETNAM ERA
VETERANS



HEARING



BEFORE THE



SUBCOMMITTEE ON
OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATION



COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES



MAY 4. 1994



THE NATIVE AMFRir.AM

VIETNAM VETFRAN.q;

THEIR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE



AS REPORTED BY

DR. EDWIN STRONG-LEGS RICHARDSON

PENOBSCOT INDIAN OF
THE EASTERN ABENAKI CONFEDERACY-



186



The Native American Vietnam Veteran;
Their Past Their Present and Their Future

I. THEIR PAST.

A WARRIOR SOCIETY

The Native American has always been a strong, brave and adventurous person who has
prided himself in his culture, rich in myths and legends. Many have heanj of the greatness of
Chief Joseph and the fact that his skill in escape and evasion is studied at West Point. They
stand erect with pride at the suggestion that the blood of Crazy Horse is in their veins. Each has
heard of the Battle of the Little Big Hom and about Chief Sitting Bull and all of the other great
heros. They know that they are of a Warrior Society.

COMBAT IS A TIME TO BE A REAL NATIVE

Of the over 86,000 Native Americans who were in Vietnam it was a chance to show with
pride that he was truly of the Great Warrior Society. Consequently, over 95% of that group
volunteered for Vietnam.

THE NATIVE AMERICAN IN VIETNAM

And so it was in Vietnam. Vietnam was a time to be a warrior. Not a killing, hateful,
hell-be-damned kind of person; not a time to be sadistic and cruel; not a time to curse the
enemy; and certainly not a time to glamorize the blood, misery and death. Vietnam was time to
be a member of the Warrior Society. It was a time to be courageous, to absorb personal pain
and spend time thinking and caring for others, and a time to show compassion even compas-
sion for the enemy. This too is a part of the life of the Native Americans.

This is where we came from.

II. THEIR HERE AND NOW .

SELF DETERMINATION

Under the Native American Programs Act of 1974, Public Law 93-644, as amended,
the BIA and ANA and others have major program goals to; 1) assist tribal and village govern-
ments. Native American institutions and local leadership to exercise control and decision
making over their own resources 2i foster the development of stable, diversified local
economies and economic activities which will provide jobs, promote economic well-being, and
reduce dependency on public funds and social services; 3) support local access to, control of,
and coordination of services and programs which safeguard the health and well-being of
people, and which are essential to a thriving and self-sufficient community.

EPA ACTIVITIES ON RESERVATIONSA/ILLAGES

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Activities on Indian Reservations and
Inuit (Eskimo). Aleut, Hawaiian and Pacific Rim Villages has been diffuse, at limes wordy, and
even confusing. There appears to be a conscientious effort at cleaning up what the Federal
Government may have generated; and yet, at the same time it is not eager to advise the Tribes
about the shady, deceitful, and self-serving approaches of the corporate wortd to dump



187



hazardous wastes in reservations and villages.

In November, 1984, EPA issued an Indian Policy and Implementing Guidance in
which it is committed to work with Indian tritjes, recognizing that tribal govemments are the
primary parties for setting standards, making environmental policy decisions and managing
environmental programs on reservations. The Agency Is further committed to encourage and
assist Indian tribes in assuming regulatory and program management responsibilities. The EPA
has focused on four major areas:
C) clarifying the role of tribal gvemments in environmental protection;

(2) increasing communication in onjer to strengthen their understanding ;

(3) woricing to incorporate a broader management structure ; and,

(4) providing direct support for tribal environmental protection activities.

It IS because of this fourlh point that It Is necessary for EPA to act as a source of
expertise, advice, and become a "joint partner" In the control of hazardous wastes and protect
the people.

The EPA feels that some of its HIGHLIGHTS include:

1. The Office of Air and Radiation which is developing the Indian Air Quality Regulations.


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on VeterViewpoints on Veterans Affairs and related issues : hearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, May 4, 1994 → online text (page 22 of 23)