"As we mark the end of America's combat mission in Iraq," President Barack Obama said this week, "a grateful America must pay tribute to all who served there." He should have added, "unless you're gay," because, despite his rhetoric, weeks earlier the commander in chief fired one of those Iraq vets: Lt. Dan Choi.
Choi was an Iraq War veteran, a graduate of West Point and a trained Arabic linguist. I ran into Choi the day after he received his official discharge. We were at the Netroots Nation conference in Las Vegas, a gathering of thousands of bloggers, activists and journalists.
Though Choi had known the discharge was coming, he was still shaken to the core. He took out his phone and showed me the letter he was e-mailed.