Capt Honors gets unexpected support from gay sailors
from The Washington Times:
Gay former sailors back captain ousted over videosOYE Comment:
Navy Capt. Owen P. Honors, removed from command of one of the Navy‘s most powerful warships and under investigation for ribald videos made to amuse his crew, is getting moral support from an unexpected quarter — gay sailors who served under his command.
The captain is under fire for videos he made four years ago while executive officer of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, and broadcast to the 6,000 crew members in an effort to entertain them during two wartime deployments. The videos contain scatological humor, foul language, sexual innuendo and the use of the word “fag.” [ . . . ]
Interviews with sailors on the Enterprise at the time, including several who have since left the Navy and say they were openly gay when they served, suggest that the videos, far from offending, did, as intended, raise morale through their crude humor. Many of Capt. Honors‘ former shipmates think the Navy has already gone too far in stripping him of his command.
“I was not offended,” said Nowie Solis, who was a mass-communications specialist, third class, in the ship’s media department. Mr. Solis, who says he was gay and that his sexuality was known to his shipmates, has since been honorably discharged. “I had plenty of gay friends on board and never heard of anyone who was offended,” he told The Washington Times, “He wasn’t insulting” gay sailors, added Mr. Solis, “They were just harmless jokes.”
Capt. Honors “absolutely did not” create a hostile or homophobic atmosphere on board, added Eric M. Prenger, a gay sailor who also served on the Enterprise at the time. Mr. Prenger, an electronics technician, third class, said the crew looked forward to the videos, which were broadcast on the ship’s closed circuit TV system every Saturday night, preceding the showing of a movie.
“They were definitely a tension reliever,” said Mr. Prenger, who has also since left the service. “I remember laughing at them.”
Gay men and women that join the military do so “knowing they aren’t going to be in an environment that appeals to their sense of delicacy,” said Mr. Prenger. “Gay or straight, you need a tough skin to get through.” [ . . . ]
We're quite surprised to see The Washington Times acknowledging non-heterosexual sailors serving openly in our military. In any event, we acknowledge the significant challenges faced by military leaders in maintaining morale in a dignified and respectful manner.