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.