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All-Gay Battalion in Afghanistan Finally Ordered to Pack It In

 

(From WIRES)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013,

(KABUL)  —A little over a year after President Obama cleared the way for gay and lesbian soldiers to openly declare their sexuality in the military, the Pentagon has ordered the first all-gay battalion serving in Afghanistan to “pack it in and head home,” according to sources Wednesday.  

      Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Nichols of the 56th U.S. Army Battalion serving in Jalalabad was told by the Pentagon last week that as part of President Obama’s promised drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, he and his “most unique” unit were to suspend their operational functions in preparation to return to the U.S.

    The 56th U.S. Army Battalion is experimental; its uniqueness being that it is the first all-gay unit in the United States military since President Obama lifted the ban on gays serving openly in the military two years ago.   

    “With homosexuality now able to be expressed freely, an all-gay unit was formed in January of 2012 to measure their effectiveness as a combat unit,” said the Pentagon in a press release, Monday.   According to the Army, Battalion 56 was formed to compare things such as discipline, cohesion and battle effectiveness to non-all-gay Army units.   The Army has yet to publically comment on the 56th Battalion’s effectiveness, but its stay in Afghanistan is over, much to the chagrin on Lt. Col. Nichols.

     “Me and the rest of the battalion are honored to have been given this opportunity to fight for our country,” said Lt. Col. Nichols to reporters, Wednesday.  “But, speaking for myself, I’m a bit disappointed that (the Obama administration) has recalled us at this point.  After all, what part of ‘winning hearts and minds’ cannot an all-gay combat unit in a devoutly Islamist population accomplish?  …I just don’t get it.” 

     The White House says its withdraw of the all-gay battalion is in no way based on their sexual orientation and is simply part of a general drawdown of U.S. forces in the terminally impoverished hellhole.   U.S. military units in Jalalabad’s Nangarhar province and the rest of Afghanistan are being told to prepare to head back the states in increasing numbers.  The 56th Army battalion is simply among the listed personnel to be recalled, the Pentagon claims.   But an anonymous source from the battalion told reporters that no matter why they are being recalled, it’s still is a blow to a unit that had wanted to prove themselves through the long haul of deployment.

    “We’d been slugging it out in-country so long and hard,” said the anonymous source, who wished to remain the opposite of well-known.  “We’d been proving ourselves to our commanders with our dedication, thrusting deep into insurgent held territories, not being able to trust the locals or our uniformed Afghan partners.  We just had each other, and a job to do, and give.  Through all the sweat and grunts and hardships, we always knew we had each others’ back. …It’s such a shame they pulling us out before we felt like we had a chance to really stick it to the enemy!”  

 

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