When I wrote about Army Sergeant Darren Manzella earlier this week, I figured that he might eventually get drummed out of the military and that would be that. Then the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network emailed and asked if I wanted to interview Darren myself and I never turn down interviews with hot guys, so I agreed. Little did I know that they had a surprise for me: Darren knew I’d called him an “insane hottie” and it turns out I can blush! Who knew?
Darren, though, was actually quite gracious, as was his mother Nancy. They were here in Washington to lobby Congress to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy for the military, as they (and many other people) consider it outdated and potentially harmful to the mission of the military.
See, Darren actually really wants to stay in the Army. He likes serving his country, he likes being a medic, and he likes being himself (which, sadly, is part of the problem). When someone was threatening to out him before he left for Iraq, he didn’t come out to save his job, get out of going or to just be honest: he told his commanders because he was worried what might happen to him in Iraq because of the threats. But he went anyway, and earned the Combat Medical Badge for his service and found out that many of his friends and colleagues were really supportive. The SLDN has been representing him since about the same time he outed himself, and he agreed to come forward to try to help them lobby to change the law which is making his future somewhat less than certain.
Oh, and he would like everyone to know that he absolutely, positively does not use an eyelash curler.
[Pictures courtesy of Judy Rolfe and SLDN]