Gay men have always been part of the American military. In an era before gay marriage or open pride, military men fell in love, formed passionate friendships and had same-sex encounters. Due to social and official discrimination, though, most of their stories have gone untold. Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian military man hired by George Washington to whip the Continental Army into shape during the darkest days of the Revolutionary War , is known for his bravery and the discipline and grit he brought to the American troops. Historians also think he was homosexual—and served as an openly gay man in the military at a time when sex between men was punished as a crime.
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Why Russian soldiers are finally replacing foot wraps with socks | Russia | The Guardian
T hey've seen service in the Seven Years war , the Napoleonic wars , the Crimean war and two world wars — in fact, in every war the Russian army has fought since the 17th century. But by the end of this year, they'll be history. Portyanki , the squares of cloth cotton for summer, flannel for winter in which Russian soldiers have wrapped their feet since the days of Peter the Great, have lost their last and greatest battle — against socks. When US troops met the Red Army at the river Elbe before the final push on Berlin in April , American GIs were astonished to see their formidable Soviet counterparts wearing rags under their boots. In fact, the cloths — common everywhere before the industrial revolution — were eminently practical: far cheaper to make than socks, quicker and easier to wash, dry and mend, and providing they were properly bound fit for purpose. They allowed Russia's hard-pressed factories not to be distracted by making socks, and soldiers in the field to improvise replacements if need be. They did, though, need to be worn correctly.
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Armed forces. These are the voices explaining what it has been like to be a gay man 1 in the American military over the previous seventy or so years, from World War II veterans in their late eighties to young servicemen on active duty. How we got here: In , many people thought that the discrimination was nearly over. This was presented as a kind of victory for the forces of progress—you were no longer excluded from serving—but it could instead be seen as solidifying discrimination.
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