Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - Soldier of the Year: The Story of a Gay American Patriot

Soldier of the Year: The Story of a Gay American Patriot
Soldier of the Year The Story of a Gay American Patriot
Author: Jose Zuniga
ISBN-13: 9780671888145
ISBN-10: 0671888145
Publication Date: 10/1994
Pages: 323
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Pocket Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
We're sorry, our database doesn't have book description information for this item. Check Amazon's database -- you can return to this page by closing the new browser tab/window if you want to obtain the book from PaperBackSwap.
Read All 1 Book Reviews of "Soldier of the Year The Story of a Gay American Patriot"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

fencerchica avatar reviewed Soldier of the Year: The Story of a Gay American Patriot on + 47 more book reviews
SGT Zuniga shares with us here a brutally honest revelation of what it was like to serve in the United States Army during the years of its total ban on gay servicemembers. The book's earnest and youthful tone reflects the fact that he was only 24 years old at the time of this book's writing. Despite his age, he was already a decorated Gulf War combat medic and the Army's 1992 Soldier of the Year. His family, his country, and the Army had raised him to be courageous and honorable, so on the eve of the 1993 March on Washington, he stepped forward to present his outstanding service record in opposition to those who claimed without evidence that homosexuality was "incompatible with military service". Unfortunately his sacrifice was at the time in vain, as then-candidate Clinton's efforts to end the ban were neutered into the misleadingly-named "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but SGT Zuniga's willingness to share his experience opened countless minds and helped pave the way for President Obama's 2011 repeal of DADT.

In his book, SGT Zuniga discusses:
--How his childhood background shaped his dedication to the military;
--His experiences during his service both in the States during peacetime and in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq during the first Gulf War;
--The agonzing experience of being forced to construct an artificial identity (including a sham marriage) to conceal one's sexual orientation under the former ban on gay military service;
--The pain and the relief of leaving the closet behind him and sacrificing his future military career in order to help his nation and the next generation of American warriors.