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One of the boyfriends tells me how difficult it was when his partner was recently in Afghanistan.

"If something happened," he points out, "I wouldn’t have got a phone call. If he didn’t call for two days, I was freaking out." While sitting here with me, the couples often hold hands under the table, but they are also ever watchful of the restaurant door in case someone from their base walks in.

I was taken off a helicopter in Kuwait—it was estimated that I was only in Iraq about three hours—and carried into surgery. Now I have the dubious distinction of being the first American injured when the war started. He wanted to give his life to this country."It is often difficult enough for straight men and women to balance the demands of a military career—the extended periods away, the risks involved—with that of a romantic life.

I woke up later and when I looked down I saw that the right side of my sheet was flat. For gay military members who choose to do so, there has been the extra burden that their partners must remain invisible.

’ I hadn’t even joined the military yet, and here he had asked me!

If my life had been a movie, that would be the dramatic foreshadowing of what was to come.

Gay people were only acceptable, in effect, to the degree to which they could successfully masquerade as nongay.I was raised by an attorney—it’s important to know what you’re signing.I had made it about halfway through and the recruiter was frustrated with how long it was taking me, and he said, ’Well, basically, are you gay?As "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" comes to an end, we sent Chris Heath to interview dozens of gay servicemen from the past and present to find out what life was really like as America's military struggled with its last great identity crisis On a day to come very soon—September 20, 2011—a serviceman’s sexuality will no longer be grounds for dismissal from the U. How we got here: In 1992, many people thought that the discrimination was nearly over. These are the voices explaining what it has been like to be a gay man1 in the American military over the previous seventy or so years, from World War II veterans in their late eighties to young servicemen on active duty.

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    Miller agreed, saying: “And it accomplished what I wanted to do, which was go on a lot of dates."While online dating sites give people another tool to find potential mates, the dates themselves are not very different, other than maybe knowing a bit more about the other person before officially meeting.

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    Don’t even settle for the second guy that asks you out.