Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More about Dan

I have said here in the past that it was hearing from Dan Choi on television, that got me excited enough to say something and to change the focus of my blog to seeing an end to DADT. A lot has been written about Dan. The following is from Wikipedia (you know you are making a difference when you are written about in Wikipedia).

Daniel Choi (born 1981) is a United States Army combat veteran of the Iraq war who served as an infantry officer. He has become known for challenging America's policy regarding gays serving in its military when he came out of the closet on March 20, 2009 in an appearance the The Rachel Maddow Show.[1][2] Since the show, he has become an LGBT rights activist.

Contents [hide]
1 Education and Career
2 Gay rights activist
2.1 Challenging Don't ask, Don't tell and consequent fallout
3 Personal
4 References

Education and Career
Choi graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2003 with degrees in Arabic and environmental engineering. [3] He was one of the founding members of West Point's LGBT support group, Knights Out.

Choi served as an infantry officer in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. In June 2008, he transferred from active duty Army to the New York National Guard.

Gay rights activist

Daniel Choi at a pride rally in Bryant ParkSince coming out, 1LT Choi has spoken at numerous gay rights events, including a march in Los Angeles following the California Supreme Court's affirmation of Proposition 8. On May 27, 2009, he addressed a demonstration of gay activists outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where President Barack Obama was speaking at a Democratic National Committee fund raising event[4]. In addition, Choi spoke at the 2009 Pride Rally in New York City and will serve as a Grand Marshal in San Francisco's 2009 Gay Pride Parade.

On July 16, 2009 Choi was in Culver City, California to introduce the premiere of an Abe Forman-Greenwald documentary called Silent partners.[5] The documentary is the fourth episode of the In Their Boots series, with the episode focusing on the partners of LGBT soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Challenging Don't ask, Don't tell and consequent fallout
Following his appearance on the The Rachel Maddow Show, in which he came out of the closet, Choi received his discharge letter. In response, Choi penned an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and the United States Congress. [6] In the letter, Choi challenged the morality and wisdom of the Don't ask, don't tell policy, by writing that the policy is "a slap in the face to me. It is a slap in the face to my soldiers, peers and leaders who have demonstrated that an infantry unit can be professional enough to accept diversity, to accept capable leaders, to accept skilled soldiers."

Despite his appeal and a Courage Campaign petition signed by almost 162,000 people, on June 30, 2009, a panel of New York National Guard officers recommended that Choi be discharged from the military.[7] The final decision, to be made by the commander of First Army and the chief of the National Guard Bureau, is still pending.

Choi is the son of a Korean American Baptist minister.[8]

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