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Published September 21, 2011, 09:13 PM

Local Vets React to Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Some area veterans are happy to see the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Some area veterans are happy to see the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.

The new law allows gays to serve openly in the military after nearly 18 years.

Some local veterans say a lot has changed since they were in the military and they think the new law is a good thing.

Feyber Hebron enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1979 and retired 20 years later.

"I've seen so much of the world, if I'd never enlisted in the service I never would have seen," Hebron said.

While Hebron served, he knew a few people who were accused of being gay and he didn't necessarily agree with the punishment.

You got accused, you got watched close back then and investigated. I look back at that and it feels like you really didn't need to have proof," Hebron said.

The repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" went into effect this week after years of debate. It allows gay men and women to serve openly in the military, causing some mixed feelings among veterans.

"I think that was a stupid law in the first place. If you want to serve in the military, why can't you serve in the military?" Air Force veteran Jack Buchner said.

"I spent six years in the army and I had a couple of homosexuals approach me when I was in the army and it's very disconcerting," veteran Harry Etheridge said.

President Barack Obama says ending the old policy means gay troops won't have to lie about who they are. Those who have served say it is good to see more tolerance.

"If I was serving right now as long as the man or woman was doing their job and didn't try to push their lifestyle on me. I'd have no problem serving side by side with them," Hebron said.

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