An organization representing gay and lesbian active duty military personnel announced its launch Monday, as the Defense Department seeks to repeal the nation's ban on openly gay troops.
Outserve, formed to help the Pentagon as the military eases into its proposed policy change, is headed up by J.D. Smith, an officer who cannot reveal his full name because of "don't ask, don't tell." The organization started in October 2009 as an underground group formed under the name Citizens for Repeal. There are approximately 450 members, including about two dozen who are currently deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
"We are here to fight and win wars, serve with integrity and honesty and protect the people fighting next to us," said the organization's overseas director, who is currently deployed with an artillery unit in Baghdad. "We are proud to sacrifice for the nation we love, but we have a lot of educational work to do.”