Looks like the military is finally starting to accept the reality of today's soldier.. guess the don't ask don't tell is taking a back seat...
Darren Manzella was out of the closet.
The Army sergeant told an officer he was a homosexual, and the officer turned him in. During the investigation, Manzella admitted he was gay and even offered visual confirmation: a home videotape showing him kissing his civilian boyfriend.
Needless to say, Manzella was surprised with his commanding officer’s verdict:
“They found no evidence of homosexuality,” he said.
Manzella took that as evidence, he said, that “they were trying to retain the best and most qualified soldiers. And I’m hoping to see a growth in that pattern among commands throughout the Army and the military branches.”
Manzella, 30, is assigned to Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division, and works in the Division Surgeon section. He just completed his second deployment to the Middle East. During the first, he served in the Iraq war zone and earned the Combat Medical Badge; more recently, he spent the better part of 15 months as a medical liaison at a Navy hospital in Kuwait.
He’s spent the past two years serving as an openly gay soldier, hiding nothing from his fellow troops. His story aired nationally Dec. 16 on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” making Manzella easily the most out-in-the-open gay service member in the entire military.