Saturday, September 12, 2009

By The Numbers

Yes, it is a Numbers Game today. My blogging buddy, Diamond Tiger at Logistics Monster had this video at her blog today, which I am shamelessly stealing (hey - she's on HI time - she is up when we East Coasters are dead asleep, even though she is at the March on Washington. Check out her site for reports of that event.). Glenn Beck sums it all up nicely, though the numbers he reveals are far from "nice." More like shocking, infuriating, discouraging, and maddening. Here they are:

And I have another number for you: 400. Yes, Saturday marks an inauspicious milestone. 400 is the number of Service Members who have been discharged under DADT during Obama's Administration. 400 men and women whose lives were changed simply because of whom they love. 400 men and women who were willing to serve their country, to put themselves in harm's way for us, for the U.S.A, and they have now been fired.

And here's another number for you: $56,400. That is the average, approximate cost to train a service member for their first duty station by one estimate. $56,400 each for enlisted personnel, not officers, including when they first visit a Recruiter (these are 2006 figures, so it might be more now).

The average cost to train an officer? That number is: $120,772. If that officer happens to be a fighter pilot, you can go ahead and round that number up to: $1,450,000. Remember, these are just averages. The cost to train Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach was $25,000,000. Fehrenbach, a decorated war hero, was fired from the Air Force under DADT.

And one last number for you: 9/11. Many people in this country were moved to do some kind of service to and for their country as a result of the attacks on 9/11, GLBT people included. Obama has been pushing this huge call to Service, including on 9/11/09. Secretary Clinton gave a speech on the Commemoration of the First Annual National Day of Service And Remembrance on 9/11. Presumably, the ability to serve one's country should be open to ALL of its citizens.

Yet today, that ability is not. As of today, 400 Americans have been told their willingness to serve their country, to put themselves in harm's way on her behalf, is neither desired nor accepted. 400 Americans have been told that the National Day of Service does not apply to them. 400.

How about those numbers?

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