Navy clears gay WWII vet’s record – First Time Ever


Rich Shulman writes

This is a heartwarming story. But as the AP points out, 100,000 other gay soldiers were forced out between World War II and 1993.

AP reports:

SAN DIEGO — Nearly  70 years after expelling Melvin Dwork for being gay, the Navy is  changing his discharge from “undesirable” to “honorable” — marking what  is believed to be the first time the Pentagon has taken such a step on  behalf of a World War II veteran since the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t  tell.”

The Navy notified the 89-year-old former corpsman last month that he  will now be eligible for the benefits he had long been denied, including  medical care and a military burial.

Seth Wenig / AP

Photographs of Melvin Dwork, taken in 1943 when he was in the Navy, lie on display at his home in New York. Nearly 70 years after Dwork was expelled from the Navy for being gay, the military is changing his discharge from “undesirable” to “honorable,” marking what is believed to be the first time the Pentagon has taken such a step on behalf of a World War II veteran since the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

 


Seth Wenig / AP

Mel Dwork poses for a picture, wearing his Navy cap, at his home in New York.

Seth Wenig / AP

Melvin Dwork’s discharge letter from the Navy lists the character of the discharge as “undesirable” and the reason as “unfitness,” at Dwork’s home in New York.

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