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WASHINGTON — Sgt. Pepe Johnson was surprised by the reaction he received when his fellow soldiers learned that he is gay.
“They’ve pretty much shrugged it off,” said Johnson, who rejoined the Army last fall after nearly a decade away. “Most of them were wondering why I had a nine-year gap in service. When I told them it was because of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ they shrugged it off.
“That was a pleasant surprise.”
Six months after the military dropped the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law barring gays from serving openly, Pentagon officials and gay rights advocates say the policy change has largely been a non-issue, with few complaints and no major headaches resulting from the new rules.
Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said the repeal is “proceeding smoothly across the Department of Defense,” which officials there credit to the “enforcement of standards by our military leaders” and “servicemembers’ adherence to core values that include discipline and respect.”
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