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More Military Personnel to Testify on DADT


More armed services veterans are scheduled to testify to the Senate regarding a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

According to an advisory issued Wednesday, retired Marine general John J. Sheehan, former Air Force major Michael D. Almy, and former Navy lieutenant Jenny Kopfstein will testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee March 18. Sheehan will testify in favor of maintaining the policy, Almy and Kopfstein in favor of repealing it.

According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Kopfstein told her commanders, after years of service, that she was a lesbian, and they allowed her to continue to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom. Nineteen months after coming out -- and three months shy of completing her deployment -- the Navy Board of Inquiry concluded in 2002 that there were grounds to discharge her under "don't ask, don't tell."

Sheehan served in the Marine Corps for 35 years and was the Atlantic supreme allied commander for NATO as well as commander in chief for the U.S. Atlantic Command. He retired in 1997.

Almy was discharged from the Air Force in 2006 under "don't ask, don't tell" after 13 years of service. On National Public Radio last month, Almy said that there is little merit to the suggestions of lawmakers who say gays and lesbians should be segregated from heterosexual colleagues.

"Everyone in the military today serves with someone that they are uncomfortable with for one reason or another," he said. "And the fact of the matter is they all have to be professionals. They all have to do their job and perform the mission and that's what makes them a professional military force, the greatest military in the world today. They get beyond those uncomfortable situations."

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