Of all the things I've written, this is one of the most personal to me. I hope you will read it with an open heart. And if I offend you with my words, I'm sorry. However, I will never apologize for my convictions.
Here's my story...
Once upon a time, a young teenager left her home in Louisiana and joined the Army. At 19 years old, and at her first duty station in Ft. Lewis, Washington, she meets another young soldier. His name was Bryan. Bryan was from Florida and they hit it off like two peas in a pod and became best friends! When people saw one of the pair, they usually saw both of them.
They ran miles together, done countless pushups and situps together, slept out in the freezing cold in the field and came back to their unit all nasty, sweaty, stinky, dirty, and tired together. On holidays away from home, they ate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in the mess hall. They got drunk and even vomitted together. They really were best mates.
Since the barracks were co-ed, Bryan had his room and she had hers. Other than sleeping, going to the bathroom, and showering separately, they done everything else together and became very close. They became even closer than a brother and sister; so much so that of course people talked. It didn't bother them though to see the glances, or hear the whispers and inuendos. They kept right on soldiering and being each others friend.
However, Bryan harbored a secret he was reluctant to share, even with her.
She had no idea he struggled with something to tell her, that it kept him up at night, that it interferred with his emotions, his reasoning, his logic. In between the laughs, the tears, the stories of home, the many nights eating Ramen noodles, watching "The Simpsons" on tv, and listening to Bon Jovi and Madonna tunes over and over, Bryan kept his secret private, even from his best friend.
Not knowing how his friend would respond, one day he came clean to her.
He told her he was gay. To his surprise, his top-secret revelation never fazed her one bit and they remained best friends. Yet...she knew what would happen if he told his superiors and she begged him not to tell. It was not that she was ashamed of him, instead she knew he would be dismissed. Well...that's exactly what happened.
While Bryan was discharged from the Army, she went on to serve six more years in the Army without him. They missed each other terribly, but life had a way of moving on.
Although they only saw each other once after his discharge in the early 90s, they have remained best friends over the past 22 years. The everlasting bond which formed betweem them as teenagers is very much alive. She lives in Louisiana and Bryan is about to relocate from Georgia to Florida. You see...he was recently dismissed from a very good job as a Cardiac Tech.
Georgia is an "at-will" employer, just as Louisiana is. What does that mean? It means just as anyone has the right to quit a job without notice, an employer in an at-will state has the right to terminate an employee "at will." No grounds of dismissal are needed. Of course it's more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
And since Bryan is still Sherry's very best friend in the whole world, she will do everything she can to help him. Bryan has a fundraising campaign going on to help him with relocation expenses. And even though Sherry can't afford to help him...she will. Because that's what friends do, they come to each other's aid in times of need. She would give everything she could to Bryan if the time came. She'd even cut off her right arm (and she's right handed) if he needed it.
You see... when we can least afford to give but give anyway, that is true sacrifice. Isn't love all about putting other people's needs before our own? Those of you with children, you understand this concept.
Now I know some of you won't understand this post. Some don't agree with being gay and will turn your nose at the thought. I am fortunate to have been reared by outspoken, character-building, and strong parents and am glad those characteristics are part of my personality too. I love Bryan! He is a gentle, caring, loving, kind soul. And don't get me started on what the Bible says about being gay. I'm a Christian, I know what it says. I also believe Jesus when He said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31
Oh, and which commandment says, "Thou shall not be gay?"
Anyway...if you want, here's the info to help Bryan get to his new home and new job in Florida.
And if I lose a few friends due to this post...you will be sadly missed.