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First Person: I Was Kicked Out Of The Marines Under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Marine veteran William Rodriguez-Kennedy.

Credit: Courtesy of William Rodriguez-Kennedy

Above: Marine veteran William Rodriguez-Kennedy.

First Person: I Was Discharged From The Marines Under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell


William Rodriguez-Kennedy, Marine veteran


It’s been five years since the end of the ban on gay men and women from serving openly in the U.S. military.

Special Feature First Person

KPBS Midday Edition's First Person series tells the stories of average and not-so-average San Diegans in their own words. Their experiences, both universal and deeply personal, offer a unique lens into the news of the day.

In a recent statement, to mark the fifth anniversary of the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today’s military is stronger than ever.

“I am proud to report that five years after the implementation of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" our military, drawn from a cross-section of America, is stronger than ever and continues to exemplify the very best that our great nation has to offer,” the secretary said. “The American people can take pride in how the Department of Defense and the men and women of the United States military have implemented this change with the dignity, respect, and excellence expected of the finest fighting force the world has ever known.”

As part of our ongoing First Person series, we check in with Marine veteran William Rodriguez-Kennedy. He was discharged under the policy and talks about what it was like to serve in silence and how being kicked out of the military affected his life.

Hit the play button above to hear his story.

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