Within the public debate, the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) controversy revolves around the homosexual advocates' claims for civil rights. There are even more significant issues surrounding DADT that I hope leadership is addressing. I commented on DADT & readiness. We can also consider DADT and benefits.
Every military veteran has access to certain Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. These benefits are contingent upon honorable service. If a veteran's discharge from service is other than honorable, benefits are usually negatively impacted.
Medical benefits are one such area. According to US Code Title 38,
An injury or disease incurred during active military, naval, or air service will be deemed to have been incurred in line of duty and not the result of the veteran's own misconduct when the person on whose account benefits are claimed was, at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted, in active military, naval, or air service, whether on active duty or on authorized leave.
The rest of the sentence then reads:
.unless such injury or disease was a result of the person's own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs.
I remember being told that laying on a beach and getting a debilitating sunburn recreationally would be considered "self inflicted" and that time off for recovery could make one subject to punishment for missing duty. Yes, things can be strict.
However, since the Vietnam era,
Venereal disease shall not be presumed to be due to willful misconduct if the person in service complies with the regulations of the appropriate service department requiring the person to report and receive treatment for such disease.
So the question arises: Is HIV/AIDS a venereal disease if contracted through sexual conduct? If so, then treatment will be provided the veteran as a medical benefit. Since the VA medical system is already resource challenged, this will put even more pressure on the system.
(Which should give one pause to wonder that if a government medical system designed as a rightful benefit is always struggling for adequate resources how a nationalized healthcare system is ever going to handle the load. Oh well, another topic for another day).
If contracting HIV/AIDS through sexual conduct is considered willful misconduct, then we can be certain that homosexual advocates will be attacking the system until it is removed from the misconduct list. Will any consequences of homosexual behavior be considered willful misconduct? In today's climate, one would guess not, but that does not remove the burdensome cost that will be imposed on citizens who are not involved in this immoral conduct.
As a P.S., perhaps all government funding for HIV/AIDS treatment be limited to only those who have had military service. In that way, it is at least an earned benefit and not merely another social program that rewards poor decisions. More to come...