Active-Duty Soldier with two tours in Iraq, Anthony Bustos, came out on ABC News tonight

Got the tip from SLDN that one of its clients, Anthony Bustos, was going to come out tonight on ABC News. Indeed, he did.

ABC’s Bob Woodruff did a piece on photographer Jeff Sheng’s portrait series on gay and lesbian servicemembers. One of his subjects was Mustos. And, tonight, he told the world that he is gay:

Anthony is a native Texan. Anthony is 24. Anthony is an eight year service member. Anthony has done two tours in Iraq.

Anthony watched his two best friends in the army die when an IED hit their Humvee in 2005.

Anthony is gay.

“I think about them very day,” Bustos said, remembering his friends who did not come home. “I feel like I might have cheated them of knowing the real me because I was afraid to come out to them and they died not knowing the real me, who I was completely. And I feel every day that I should have told them. I know they know now. I still talk to them and I still pray for them and everything, I just feel like we didn’t get to talk about a part of me that was an essential part.”

Bustos, like all the service members Sheng has photographed, says he loves the military. He is leaving because of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“If the policy was changed, I would like to re-enlist into the military,” he said. “I like the core structure of it. I like the core values. I think they are great values. I love the structure of everything, how everything has a set time, the uniformity of everything. I am very much a military brat and I thrive under stress and under pressure and all that and I love it. I love the physical aspect, the mental aspect, everything. But right now, as far as my conscience goes I cannot continue to serve under this policy.”

This is another real person affected by the discriminatory law. DADT is just another political issue for Jim Messina and his crew at the White House.

For Anthony Mustos, DADT is ruining his life. This is absurd.

We still don’t know if the compromise will pass and, even if it passes, we don’t know when the discharges will actually end.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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