Navy Upgrades Discharge Status of Gay Sailor…From World War II
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Melvin Dwork (photo: Interior Design)
The end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has impacted not only the soldiers of today, but those who served nearly 70 years ago.
In 1944, Melvin Dwork was kicked out of the U.S. Navy for being gay (apparently turned in by his boyfriend at the time during a “witch hunt”). The result was an “undesirable” discharge—something that haunted Dwork for decades and that he fought to have changed.
With the end of the military’s anti-homosexual policy, the Department of Defense has decided to correct Dwork’s official military record, marking his release from service as “honorable.”
It is the first time the Pentagon has taken such a step on behalf of a World War II veteran ostracized for his sexual orientation.
The 89-year-old former corpsman now will be eligible for benefits, including medical care and a military burial.
Approximately 100,000 troops were discharged from the armed services between World War II and 1993 for being gay or lesbian.
In Focus: Navy to Upgrade Gay WWII Vet's Discharge (by Julie Watson, Associated Press)
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