Liberal bloggers are making a fuss over this story, which means that -- despite Secretary Gates's temporary redirect on an issue that has nothing to do with winning the war -- DADT is being debated all over again:
Port Washington High School graduate Sara Isaacson worked for the past eight years toward the goal of becoming an Army doctor like her grandfather. She said she knew she was giving up that dream when she made the decision in January to tell the leader of her Army ROTC program that she is a lesbian.
The University of North Carolina senior's decision might also cost her $79,265.14 - the price of seven semesters of out-of-state tuition, books and others expenses, all paid for by an Army ROTC scholarship.
Isaacson, 21, said she thought the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was unfair years before she realized she was a lesbian and realized she had the option of hiding her sexual orientation. But she said misleading others would go against the Army's values.
"It really came down to my integrity," she said. "That was the most important thing to me."
A product of ROTC myself, a few things are worth mentioning. First, and most importantly, Ms. Isaacson signed an official, legally binding contract with the United States Army. The agreement is simple: Uncle Sam foots the bill for your education, you serve 4 years of active duty. By signing, you become an employee of the Department of Defense, and you are thus held accountable to military standards, from dress and appearance to official DoD policies such as DADT. These stipulations are simple, direct, and made clear when a scholarship agreement is signed.
I don't question the fact that the young lady in question acted according to her conscience and understanding of things -- but terminating that contract -- any contract, really -- means consequences. The military held up their end of the bargain, covering almost all her tuition plus a monthly living allowance. She reneged, and so the DoD rightfully expects those taxpayer dollars returned, where they'll to be used to educate another aspiring young officer. Ms. Isaacson will be put on a loan payback plan which is both fair and reasonable, where she's allowed to live her life as she chooses while making modest monthly payments at minimal interest.
So the left is playing this up as some sort of grand martyrdom case and a perfect example of the metaphysical wrongness of DADT, but I'm having a tough time finding the injustice here.