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OutServe Magazine | October 20, 2013

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Ask Sarge

Ask Sarge
Ask Sarge

Dear Sarge,

I have been in the military for more than 20 years and am about to retire, and not really because I want to. Throughout my career, I have always been highly motivated and constantly involved in projects and functions in all facets of my career field and service. Now that I am only a couple weeks away from retirement, I am feeling anxious about my future. After exploring multiple options, I still do not know what the next stage of my life is going to be. Will I be able to find fulfillment?


Retirement Bound


Hello Retirement,

It is common for service members approaching retirement to feel anxious or apprehensive about this change in their life.

There are two ways you can look at this change. You can treat it like a divorce and walk out angrily because you are upset with the outcome; or you can approach it as if you are saying goodbye to an old friend, making peace with the decision to move on and appreciating all the benefits, memories and accomplishments you made along the way. Try to take control of the transition as much as possible. It will minimize the anxious feelings you may be experiencing.

Finally, I know that you have been loaded up with all kinds of talents, skills and experience that the civilian world will greatly appreciate. Enjoy this new life endeavor and make the most of your new path.




Dear Sarge,

We are just about one year post-repeal for the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy but I do not feel there have been significant changes to the armed services. What kind of progress have we actually made since the repeal?


Political Junkie


Dear PJ,

We have definitely been navigating through some unknown territory in the past year. Between trying to ease the military into the policy without upsetting the masses and working toward gaining a foothold in the court systems to gain favor for further rights and equal treatment, we have really had quite a lot to deal with. Ultimately, we have made a lot of progress. LGBT rights have gained more attention, focus and support than ever before.

Here are just a few of the many opportunities I’ve seen this past year:

• Service members were not only allowed but invited to march in Pride events around the world;

• The Defense of Marriage Act is being fought at the federal court levels with several previous rulings in favor of abolishing this policy;

• Many Fortune 500 corporations have stepped up to the plate to actively demonstrate their support for LGBT rights, while other corporations that are aggressively against these policies are being subjected to massive protests;

• The Department of Defense has changed its policy on health care benefits given to same-sex spouses of civilian personnel;

• Photos and stories of LGB service members are being told on official web sites.

Also, check out other articles in this issue of the magazine, specifically devoted to the anniversary of the repeal, that highlight these topics and others.

Clearly, the world did not stop turning when DADT was repealed. We have been under the microscope for several years. As we demonstrate our highly professional, capable service, things will normalize. Our fight is still very real, and we have a long road ahead of us, but please do not forget the amazing progress we have made. Do not lose hope.