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More Than 13,000 Veterans Discharged For Being Gay Seek To Re-Enlist

More than 13,000 gay men and lesbians who were discharged under the ?don?t ask, don?t tell? policy want to rejoin the service.

The New York Times has the report:

People discharged under ?don?t ask, don?t tell? who wish to return to service ?will be evaluated according to the same criteria and requirements applicable to all others seeking re-entry into the military,? said Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokeswoman. ?The services will continue to base accessions of prior-service members on the needs of the service and the skills and qualifications of the applicants.?

To be eligible for re-enlistment, former service members cannot have been discharged under ?other than honorable conditions,? Ms. Lainez said. The majority of people released under the policy since 1993 ? a significant number of them highly trained intelligence analysts and linguists ? received honorable discharges.

As with all people who join the military, the reasons for wanting to rejoin vary widely. Some say they want to finish what they started, but on their own terms. Others point to the steady pay, good health care and retirement benefits. Still others talk idealistically about a desire to serve and be part of an enterprise larger than themselves.

Read the full report via THE NEW YORK TIMES