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Gay Iraq vet discharged under DADT re-enlists in National Guard

Art Martinez, Jr. (r) is sworn in by Cpt. Derek Sutton after re-enlisting in the Indiana National Guard
Art Martinez, Jr. (r) is sworn in by Cpt. Derek Sutton after re-enlisting in the Indiana National Guard
Stephanie Dowell/Sun-Times Media

A soldier who served in Iraq and was discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' has re-enlisted in the National Guard.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Art Martinez, Jr. of Gary, Indiana re-enlisted on November 22 while fighting back tears. Martinez initially enlisted in the Marines in 1981. After a brief retirement, he enlisted in the National Guard in 2007, because he said he missed serving his country. When Martinez decided he’d had enough of hiding his sexuality in January 2010, he came out to his commanding officers. By February, they had removed him from participating in weekend activities, and by June, he received his discharge papers.

"I never thought I would see ‘DADT’ repealed, at least in my lifetime," said Martinez. "I’ve been wanting this since the day I was discharged.” The dedicated Guardsman told reporters that he patiently watched and waited for President Obama to make good on his promise to repeal the discriminatory law.

Martinez said, “I had soldiers tell me all the time that they had a gay friend or relative, so I think it’s more a generational thing, and it’s not such a taboo anymore."

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