Death at Camp Pendleton: When the Military Supports Homophobia

August Provost, a Navy sailor stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California, was found murdered in his guardpost on July 1st, 2009.

Provost, apparently openly gay among his fellow soldiers, admitted on his MySpace page to having dated males before and was known on the installation to be openly gay, entered the Marine Corp in 2008.

According to the San Diego Tribune, a suspect is being held in conjunction with the death:

The death of a 29-year-old sailor at Camp Pendleton on Tuesday isprovost being investigated as a possible homicide, Navy officials said Wednesday. The body of August Provost of Houston was discovered in a guard shack on the western edge of the base sometime during the predawn hours, said Doug Sayers, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday to determine the cause of death.The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is looking into the death, has taken a “person of interest” into custody in connection with the case. Charges have not been filed, Sayers said.

Information on who discovered the body or why Provost was in the guard shack was unavailable.

Provost was a boatswain mate seaman who worked on hovercrafts and was assigned to Assault Craft Unit 5 on the base. He joined the Navy in March 2008.

Local gay activist groups believe Provost’s death was a hate crime and are urging the military and local authorities to treat it as such following interviews with others who indicated harrassment of Provost on the installation had been an ongoing matter.

Other sources cite an arguement over Provost’s sexual orientation led to his death.

More, from Queerty:

Provost’s boyfriend, Kaether Cordero, said yesterday that Provost was openly gay but kept his private life quiet for the most part.“People who he was friends with, I knew that they knew,” Cordero said from Houston. “He didn’t care that they knew. He trusted them.”Provost had recently complained to his family that someone was harassing and bothering him, and they advised him to tell his supervisor, said his sister, Akalia.“He’s the type that if someone comes at him, he walks away. He never stands and argues,” she said. “He didn’t deserve anything but a good life.”

Family described Provost as a well-mannered, humble and goofy guy who strived to make sure his mother was well-taken care of. Provost was assigned to Assault Craft Unit 5 on the base.

He had completed three years of college before joining the Navy in March 2008 to help finance his education. He was studying to become an architectural engineer, his uncle said.

One might say nothing’s been proven about this death or whether it’s actually directly connected to Provost being gay. One might say the blogosphere as well as other media outlets are jumping the gun.  One might be wrong.

The most disheartening aspect of being gay in the military is you have noone to talk to. Under DADT, you can’t speak to your Commanding Officer, fellow military members, or even the Chaplain if you’re being harrassed because of sexual orientation.

Capping off a week of homophobia surrounding the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, how much longer will the American people allow this hate to continue? How much longer will we allow viable members of our military to be discharged for nothing more than who they are? How much longer will gay bashing be allowed on our military installations and outside of them?

What is needed to get our President and Congress off their collective asses and repeal DADT?

What if every single military member who’s gay went to their Commanding Officer and confess? What impact would that have on our military strength?

Would that be the ultimate sacrifice? Or would we rather allow more hate and murder?


2 responses »

  1. Pingback: The End of The Line: Permitting Hate « Welcome to My World

  2. Pingback: Just a Little Too Convenient? « Welcome to My World

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