Anthony Woods Out of the Military and Running for Congress
Eliminated from Military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
06.10.2009 – Anthony Woods was born on Travis Air Force base in California to a
single mother who worked as a housekeeper. After graduating from high school, he
jumped at the chance to attend West Point military academy, where he became the
commander of summer training for his class and graduated on the Dean’s List. He
was part of the first deployment of troops to Iraq in 2003, serving as a platoon leader.
After a second tour of duty there, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He returned to the
US to continue his military career, as a graduate student at the John F Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University. His intention was to become a teacher
at West Point. During all this time, he adhered to the military policy of “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” by keeping his homosexuality secret.
When he graduated at Harvard in June 2008, he was chosen to deliver the graduate
English address at Commencement. By then he had decided he would inform his
commander that he was gay, effectively ending his nine year career, and costing him
at least $35,000 to repay the military for his education. “As I grew more comfortable
with who I was, the less comfortable I was with lying about it.” In November he was
told he was to be “eliminated” from the military for “moral and professional
dereliction.” A court-martial resulted in his discharge.
Now he’s running in the Democratic primary to replace US Representative Ellen
Tauscher, who’s been nominated by President Obama to a State Department
position. Without significant government experience, at age 29 he’s campaigning as
an outsider, purely on the facts of his exceptional biography. The special election will
take place this fall.
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