Gay Sailor Discharged, Then Called Back to Serve in Kuwait

A gay sailor who was honorably discharged in 2005 when he came out to superiors was mistakenly recalled back into service and shipped to Kuwait where he served 10 months.

"I was really surprised. It was something that took my breath away," Petty Officer Jason Knight told "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" anchor Bill Weir. "I didn't expect it. All of a sudden I had orders to go back to Kuwait. It took a few days to let it process and then I just anted up."

Knight revealed his sexuality a second time while he was in Kuwait when Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called homosexual acts immoral and contrary to military values. He wrote a letter to the military paper "Stars and Stripes" because he disagreed with his comments.

"I feel that every American that no matter what background they're from has the opportunity and the right to serve their country," Knight said. "I didn't expect [the paper] to run it. ... They wanted to do a whole story."

When the story came out, Knight was discharged again.

"He was discharged because he violated Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. In going public with it, he gave us with no choice. It's still an honorable discharge but this is what the law says and it's not compatible with military service," Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a Navy spokesman, said.

Although Knight believes the recall to duty was a clerical error, he said that all his shipmates knew that he was gay and that it didn't interfere with his work.

"The people that I worked with it all knew. It was a non-issue so that's probably why it didn't go up the chain of command," he said. "I never had any negative feedback from anybody. ... It's just another part of who I am. It didn't affect anything."

Knight said he went back to Kuwait because he wanted to serve his country.

"I guess it's that ... pride you get from service in the military. ... I enjoyed my time in the Navy and I was glad to go again," he said.

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