KA gay vet hospitalized

Lt. Dan Choi, an outspoken critic of the U.S. government’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, was hospitalized after suffering from exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.

Lt. Choi, chained to the White House in March.

After the Iraq war veteran came out on national television last year, Choi became the poster boy for the movement to repeal DADT, helping to rejuvenate a nation-wide campaign to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly.

Choi, a West Point grad and Arabic linguist, is now one of the most prominent gay rights activists in the country. This year, he has been arrested three times for chaining himself to the White House fence to urge Obama to squash the 17-year-old policy.

According to news reports, Choi felt distressed by last week’s failure for Congress to repeal the ban on openly gay troops in the military. Other reports claim Choi was “involuntarily committed” to a Veterans Affairs psychological ward.

In an email to bloggers Pam Spaulding and Rex Wockner, Choi wrote, “It is critical for our community to know several things: Veterans, gay or straight, carry human burdens…..My breakdown was a result of a cumulative array of stressors but there is no doubt that the composite betrayals felt on Thursday, by elected leaders and gay organizations as well as many who have exploited my name for their marketing purposes, have added to the result.”

Though Congress failed to repeal the policy as part of the defense authorization bill last week, a stand-alone repeal has been introduced. This morning, Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown announced his support for a stand-alone repeal, bringing the bill one vote over the 60-vote threshold that it will need to reach if and when the Senate votes on the measure.

Click here to read KoreAm’s cover story on Lt. Dan Choi, which ran in August 2009.