After a barrage
of anonymous e-mails to his superiors outing a
decorated Army sergeant and Arabic-language specialist, Bleu
Copas was dismissed under "don't ask, don't tell" in
January. Copas, who was based at Fort Bragg, N.C., never
told his bosses about his sexual orientation, but
because of the e-mails he was given an honorable
discharge, the Associated Press reports.
"I knew the policy going in," Copas,
30, told the AP on the campus of East
Tennessee State University in Johnson City, where he
is now pursuing a master's degree in counseling and working
as a student adviser. "I knew it was going to be difficult."
Although the person behind the e-mails was never
identified, an eight-month-long Army investigation
nevertheless concluded that Copas "engaged in at least
three homosexual relationships and is dealing with at
least two jealous lovers, either of whom could be the
anonymous source providing this information."
"In the end, the nature and the volume of the
evidence and Sergeant Copas's own sworn statement led
me to discharge him," Lt. Col. James Zellmer, Copas's
commanding officer, told the AP. "The evidence clearly
indicated that Sergeant Copas had engaged in homosexual acts."
However, during a formal interview as part of
the investigation, Copas refused to answer when asked
if he had ever engaged in "homosexual activity or
conduct." He soon asked for a lawyer, and the
interrogation was stopped.
"It is unfair. It is unjust," Copas, who
enlisted in the Army after 9/11 out of a sense of
duty, told the AP. "Even with the policy we have,
it should never have happened."
He plans to appeal to the Army Board for
Correction of Military Records to delete the reason
for his discharge from his official papers. (The